The first-ever FAW Youth Conference took place at Colliers Park, Wrexham on the 2nd of August.
Organised and delivered in collaboration with the FAW’s Youth Council, the FAW Youth Conference provided an opportunity for attendees to expand their leadership potential in football by developing their skills and knowledge through a range of workshops, activities, and talks. The 50 young people in attendance also had the opportunity to undertake networking discussions and meet like-minded ambitious individuals who aim to positively impact the game in their community and obtain a job in football in the future.
The day began with a welcome from FAW staff members, Senior Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager Jason Webber, FAW President Steve Williams and FAW Youth Council Chair Harrison Clayton. Attendees were then introduced to Cymru Football Foundation (CFF) Chair and former Cymru international Kelly Davies, who provided a guest talk on her journey & key learnings, inspiring young people attending to volunteer and be change-makers to create a better game & society.
A range of workshops were delivered throughout the day including the “Developing Leadership Skills” workshop by Claire Ewing, the “Developing Your Personal Brand” workshop with The Prince’s Trust and the “Applying for Roles in Football” workshop delivered by FAW HR Manager Hannah Hopes.
The afternoon sessions ended with an inspiring panel discussion chaired by Roopa Vyas. Panellists included former Cymru captain Ashley Williams, Head of Operations at Wrexham AFC and Wrexham U19’s Women’s Coach Gemma Owen and saw the return of Harrison Clayton FAW Youth Council Chair and Kelly Davies CFF Chair. The ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ panel discussion provided an opportunity for the young people attending to ask questions to the panel about their experiences in football, which resulted in the panellists sharing many examples along with their advice and knowledge of leadership with the group.
The final activity of the day provided a challenge to the attendees, by using the communication, networking and leadership skills they had developed throughout the conference they had to lead a football activity together. The attendees conducted a warm-up, organised themselves into teams, acquired the correct equipment needed to run the activity and established two 5-a-side games on the pitch provided.
At the Football Association of Wales, we believe in the power of young people. Young people aren’t just the leaders of the future but have the drive, skills and ideas to make a positive change in football today.
The Youth Conference will be back in 2024, further information will be provided on the PAWB website in due course.