Cardiff welcomed one of the biggest football competitions in Wales on Thursday with more than six hundred children from the Butetown and Grangetown area of Cardiff.
Cardiff street soccer involved three teams, the under 13’s, under 15’s and under 17’s who played some exciting games on inflatable pitches.
The occasion provided children and young people with the opportunity to learn golf techniques in fun inflatable domes as well as watching a professional street Basketball player show off his tricks.
Tom Connors is originally from Cardiff, he’s been involved in making motivational speeches to young children from deprived areas. He fully supports the effort to encourage young children to play sports and be part of a team.
It’s great to see young kids off the streets and playing sports having fun with their friends, these sort of activities are a great way for them to show their talent and be a part of something
The organisers, ‘Cardiff Third Sector Council’, are a voluntary organisation group who set up the day in order to give the children something to do during their half-term holidays.
Peter Griffiths, is one of the organisers:
days like this are hugely beneficial, it tackles anti-social behaviour, gets kids participating in sport- that’s
really important because we’re in the Olympic year
The day wasn’t just about playing sport but also about helping to increase youngsters self-confidence to feel a sense of achievement and set them up for a bright future.
The children also witnessed Tom Connors and football freestyler Ash Randell beat some World records. Connors broke the record for the amount of times he could spin a basketball around his waist within 30 seconds.
Now, in its third year the festival has grown enormously and the organisation has already planned more similar events for this year.
Some special sports stars came to Cardiff Bay to show their support and encouragement. Rhian Wyn Thomas, a professional golfer taught the children some of her techniques and Enzo Calzaghe the coach and father of former World Champion Boxer Joe Calzaghe, was another guest, he said:
it’s very important to get young people into sport because at the end of the day if they get involved in it at a young age then of course it’ll be really beneficial when they grow up
Though Calzaghe’s trade was in a very different sport, his thoughts on the game promoting discipline and respect seemed to strike a chord with the youngsters.
With the women’s football tournament kicking off here in the Capital days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, the sport faces a big year in Cardiff.
Aside from the Millenium stadium hosting London 2012’s football events, Championship side Cardiff City are also promoting the sport in the Capital as they face off against Liverpool in next weekend’s Carling Cup Final.
The festival served its purpose as it kept the children entertained during their school break and identified some strong enthusiasm from Cardiff’s young sportsmen.
It also highlighted the importance of getting young people and children into sports and integrating them into the community. In true Olympic style the winning teams were awarded with medallions by Calzaghe.