All Together Now – football for community!

 

On a bleak Sunday afternoon in January we headed to Merthyr Tydfil Football club to watch the second match from a new team – All Together Merthyr F.C.  A community venture headed up by Focal Point and Hope Not Hate aimed at using football to bring people together.  The club is made up from people from different cultures who live in around Merthyr, and we met Polish, Portuguese, Welsh, Brazilian and Syrian players, all playing in a friendly against Merthyr Supporters FC.

It was a great match and both teams played with style.  All Together Merthyr scored an early first goal getting things of to a flying start.  Merthyr Supporters came back strong and by half time the core was 2:1 to Merthyr Supporters.  In the second half All Together Merthyr worked hard to but Merthyr Supporters played strongly ending the game 3:1

After the match we spoke with midfielder Pedro Carvalho, who works at Design and Supply Ltd here in Merthyr Tydfil. Originally from Portugal Pedro sees the team as vital,  ‘This team is so important, as it’s not just one community, it brings people together.  We’ve already got lots of elements to keep us separate – it’s good to have something keeping us together, something we all enjoy’   He told how the team had grown and how important it was.  ‘Football is very important, it’s a very strong way to connect people.  Not many things in the world can connect people as much as football’

“It’s all about bringing communities together to share what we have in common – in this case, sport” says Focal Point project consultant Dr Lesley Hodgson. “Jo Cox’ words ‘We have more in common that unites us than that which divides us’ are at the heart of everything the team does”.

Focal Point has now joined forces with Merthyr Tydfil Global Village to support the club while they develop. Merthyr Town F.C and the Football Association of Wales are encouraging All Together Merthyr to be involved in the league. So watch this space!

The Head of the International Football Association of Wales, Mark Evans has said ‘Merthyr Town FC are delighted to be partners with All Together Merthyr. Their matches at Penydarren Park have been very rewarding as it has provided an excellent opportunity to bring people together in a fun environment and continued to build bridges within the wider community’

The team are always on the lookout for new people to be involved. They are particularly looking for trustees, players and coaches. Anyone who would like to be involved can contact Lesley Hodgson on 07903 281908 or on Facebook @focalpointcommunities

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