Youth football team waives cost of kit for players thanks to Wales & West Housing funding
A youth football team founded on the ethos of equal opportunities for all waived the cost of kit for parents for the current season after receiving sponsorship from Wales & West Housing.
Brian Valentine, founder of Shotton Town United, said the donation to cover the cost of kit for players and coaches had ‘taken a huge weight off everyone’s minds’ during the cost of living crisis.
The football club saw its funds decimated by the Covid pandemic and the sponsorship has allowed the club to begin rebuilding and growing.
It has been running for eight years after Brian and a few other parents founded the club on the basis of ‘every child should play,’ allowing young people to gain training and match experience whatever their background or ability.
Brian said: “For a company like Wales & West Housing to come in and recognise us for what we’re doing, it makes us as a club feel very, very special.
“Where we operate in Flintshire is one of the most deprived areas in Wales so we know there’s a lot of hardship. We decided this year because of the generosity of the company we wouldn’t charge anyone for kit.
“All the children have had free kit, which has taken a lot of expense off parents, and the funding has also supported coach training.
“We want everyone to have the kit, we want them to look professional and we couldn’t have done it without Wales & West Housing.
“The kits have gone down absolutely storming with the children, they’re all like ‘hey we’re all the same here, none of us are different; we’re all one team, one club.’”
The funding was awarded through Wales & West Housing’s Making a Difference community assistance programme, which gives back to the community.
With the help of the funding, Brian is now looking forward to growing the club further.
“For a company like Wales & West Housing to come in and recognise us for what we’re doing, it makes us as a club feel very, very special.”
Brian Valentine, Shotton Town United
“We formed in 2015, as parents we were paying a lot of money for our children to go to other clubs and not get the full benefit of football,” he said.
“We started building and building and building because we were offering that something a little bit different, we were offering a proper grassroots experience. We just want the kids to be out there having fun.
“We expected we’d only get two years out of it as there’s a lot of competition in the area for clubs. This year we’ve taken on an extra 90 children. The thrill that I find is trying to meet the increasing expectation we have every year.”