Fer praises Walking Football project

22nd February

Leroy Fer has shown his support of our Premier League Works project by taking part in the ‘Walking with Legends’ tournament organised by the programme’s participants.

The Walking Football tournament, which was attended by Fer and club ambassador Lee Trundle and was filmed by Match of the Day, saw teams travel from across the country compete.

In addition to Swindon, Cardiff and Newport’s Walking Football projects being represented at the round robin tournament, two teams took part from the Community Trust’s Walking Football initiative which focuses on community inclusion, including the Change Step Military Veteran’s charity team.

Aiming to help young people who are not in education, employment or training, the PL Works project provides them with the tools to acquire the skills and experiences they need to make a positive transition back into education, access training or gain meaningful employment and it is a project that has produced life-changing results for its participants.

“My confidence has built up a lot, it’s amazing what these courses can do. I would encourage anyone to join them,” explained Connor Miles. “I’m very proud of what I have achieved and what the group have achieved.

“It was the first time I have ever met a footballer, but it helps us and shows us that if we can do this we can get rewarded. It’s something special!”

Fellow participant Sophie Brett spoke about the benefits of participating in the project. She sad: “I have learned that there are more opportunities out there, how to get there, what to do and I have gained a lot of experience that will continue to help me in the future.

“It helps you in so many ways and is something that you can take forward for the rest of your life."

As part of their participation in the project, their work experience included planning, organising and delivering the ‘Walking with Legends’ tournament and Swans midfielder Fer took the opportunity to chat with the young people involved before taking part in one of the matches.

“They did a really good job. I’m really impressed with them and what they have done,” said Fer. “It’s a very nice tournament, everyone is smiling so that’s what we want."

Fer also highlighted the importance of the work the club does within the community, stating: “Swansea is a family club, so it’s very important for us to make the community happy and vice versa, they make us happy as well at the games.

“We can’t change their lives but we can encourage them and try to help them, and that’s what we are trying to do here by chatting to them and trying to encourage them,” he explained.

Club ambassador Trundle could also see the advantages of programmes like PL Works and was full of praise for the participants. He said: “I think it’s brilliant. To organise an event like this is not easy and needs certain skills, so for them to be able to put that into practice, to bring the event together, and to see all the teams out there all enjoying themselves, they’ve done a great job,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what background you are from or how old you are, football is something that connects everyone and we’ve seen that today.

“There are teams that have travelled down from Swindon and Cardiff to come to an event like this and everyone’s together and really enjoying themselves."

The event also saw the Community Trust continue their work with Neath Port Talbot College, as the referees on the day were Sport and Public Services students from the NPTC Group of Colleges, a number of whom are involved with the Swansea City Community Trust.

Barry Roberts, Head of Sport and Public Services at the Colleges expressed his delight at the success of the tournament. He said: “We are delighted with the success of the day and the ongoing relationship with the Swansea City Community Trust, which encompasses not just football, but tennis and now the ever popular walking football."

To find out more about our PL Works project, please contact michael@scfccommunitytrust.co.uk and to find out more about our free Walking Football sessions, click here.