A POPULAR community football team celebrating 10 years of fundraising success has netted new partnerships in lockdown – including an African prison’s soccer squad.
The North Wales Dragons refused to let the Coronavirus pandemic stand in the way of their drive to support social change and raise much needed funds for charities and health organisations across the UK.
Made up of players aged 16 to 65 years old, the team came together a decade ago for a charity soccer match and have been together ever since, highlighting the importance of sport and exercise in creating a positive environment.
Co-founder Chris Roberts, from Colwyn Bay, said while 2020 has been “hugely challenging” there have been positives for the Dragons.
“Since the turn of the year we have made huge strides, though of course the COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect,” he said.
“We had visited universities, attended charity events and even had the opportunity to attend Celtic Park in Glasgow, to find out more about how a top-flight football club deals with social conscience.
“The team also played in a match to raise awareness of men’s mental health awareness in Leeds and attended a diversity fashion show in Manchester.”
Chris added: “The lockdown period put an end to our plans to be at more events this year, which is a huge shame, but behind closed doors we have continued to be busy.”
Other progress includes a new collaboration with Bangor University Sports Centre, the creation of the North Wales Dragons Women’s team, and donations to local foodbanks, hospitals and cancer and children’s charities.
They even formed a partnership with Hearts of Ruiru Sports FC, a club with players drawn from a prison and community in Nairobi, Kenya, and will be delivering memory workshops to dementia sufferers when it is safe to do so, with social distancing measures in place.
Chris added: “There are many reasons for us to be positive about the future after what has been an unprecedented few months.
“For anyone out there who needs us; if you are struggling, need someone to talk to or want to work together with North Wales Dragons to help make a difference, please get in touch.”