Swansea City rename stand in honour of NHS Wales
Swansea City has renamed the Liberty Stadium south stand as the NHS Wales Stand for the 2020-21 season following the brave efforts of health professionals and frontline workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As a mark of respect and recognition, the family stand will also be branded with the NHS Wales logo and the rainbow emblem which became a symbol of hope for many throughout the pandemic.
Jason Hughes, the operations manager and lead critical care practitioner for EMRTS and the Wales Air Ambulance charity, and Alicia Powe, Swansea City Ladies captain and full-time staff nurse at Morriston Hospital, were invited to the Liberty to mark the occasion of the renaming.
As with so many communities in Wales, the UK, and around the world, Swansea as a city and wider area has felt the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
At the time of writing, in Wales alone there have been over 20,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, while more than 1,500 people have lost their lives.
Among that number have been a number of Swansea City supporters and Gerallt Davies, a member of the Swans’ matchday paramedic team.
During the outbreak, the Liberty has been also made available for the NHS to train staff, while a drive-in testing centre was established in the north car park.
Following the resumption of football in June, players sported the ‘NHS Rainbow’ emblem on their shirts with the Welsh word ‘Diolch’ underneath as a thank you for workers’ selfless efforts supporting our wider communities.
The Swans also had special permission to add the NHS Wales logo onto players’ shorts for the end of the 2019-20 campaign, and a period of applause took place prior to each fixture.
The club now want to further show their gratitude to the thousands of NHS heroes and pay tribute to those who kept our communities safe during these difficult times.
“We felt it was important that we recognised the amazing efforts of our NHS workers in Wales and renaming the stand will reflect the gratitude of everyone associated with the club,” said Swansea City’s head of commercial, Rebecca Edwards-Symmons.
“We sadly lost one of our matchday paramedics Gerallt Davies to Covid-19, as well as many supporters, but have no doubt our amazing NHS has saved and protected many more.”
Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said: “The Liberty Stadium has been one of the sporting venues across Wales that has been used to support healthcare workers during the pandemic.
“I was delighted with the role the club played in Swansea with training and testing, which have been key to our response to Coronavirus.
“Like the matchday staff and supporters at Swansea City there will be people across Wales who have lost a friend, colleagues or loved one.
“I’m delighted the club are renaming their stand to pay tribute to the bravery of NHS Wales staff, and using the rainbow emblem that has been a symbol for them and all other critical workers who put themselves first to help people tackle this terrible virus."