I was elected Chairman of Treharris Mini & Junior FC in September 2020 after coaching my son’s team for 7 years – we are now the Under 13’s – and playing for the Senior team on The Athletic pitch for 10 years. The Athletic is a really special ground to me and many others, with over 100 years of history right in the heart of the Treharris community.
My own history and relationship with the Club, plus the lack of facilities in the area, has driven me to take on the challenge of making the Athletic the home of kids’ football for Treharris. We currently have 2 pitches for 10 kids and 2 senior teams!! The minis and juniors has been running for 25 years and has never had its own facility, a place to call ‘home’. Our teams have just played at Treharris Park or The Waun in Quakers Yard, both of which were condemned in recent years. In desperation we have asked Merthyr Tydfil CBC to allow us to use Treharris Park again this season as we have nowhere else to play. I want to give the kids a base, a place to call home and to be proud of where they train and play every week. Being based in the village means friends and family can come and give the kids the support they need and thrive on at this young age during matches.
The Athletic 5-10 years ago when it was still being used by the senior team.
The state of the pitch when we were granted access to start upgrading it at the beginning of the year.
Along with members of the Club’s Committee and coaches (all of whom are volunteers), we have been working hard to get the lease for the ground from the Council, including successfully challenging an attempt to earmark the pitch for housing. To date, we have re-pointed the large car park wall (twice) to meet the requirements of the Council, raised funds through grant applications and other fundraising ventures to purchase a storage container, our own mower and strimmer to start bringing the pitch back to life and maintain it to playing standard. We’ve upgraded the old fence at the front of the ground, installed a new entrance gate, removed brambles and weeds, cleared the car park of rubbish and weeds and continue to improve the state of the pitch. We will also be improving the embankment (where the stand used to be) in the coming weeks to make it a safe gradient for the kids.
The pitch from a similar position after its 6th cut and spike Sept 2021. Showing the progress we've made to date.
The pitch will take the best part of a year to get to a playable standard, but we have invested in the equipment and will continue to work in our own time to get us there. The main thing we now need to really make it a place we can call home, is changing rooms, so that all 170+ players will benefit from this facility. We also want to install a small communal room where we can hold meetings, courses for our players and coach education and it could also be used by other local community groups. It will be somewhere our players and supporters can meet on match days, keep warm and enjoy a cuppa while supporting the teams.
The changing rooms previously at the ground were unsafe and had to be demolished, so we are starting from scratch. We would need to locate water, electric and waste, and bring them to the right location, install foundations, and then purchase and install the buildings (modular changing rooms would be best as these can be lifted and placed in the correct positions).
Ideally we would like to get this up and running alongside the pitch work currently being carried out and planned, so that this time next year they will both be ready for the new season and a new chapter in The Athletic’s history.
Unfortunately, the cost of this facility is too much for us to raise on our own (albeit we are trying!!). With 170+ children already playing for us and likely to increase to over 200 in the next 2 years, we are hoping that with the help of this crowdfunding page we can achieve our goal together as a community. We want to make The Athletic somewhere we can ALL feel proud of, and give our kids the best facility possible to aid their development and skills, not just as football players but as young people; friends with everlasting memories of playing on The Athletic, like so many before them and hopefully, with your help, many more ahead of them. Every single penny we receive through this crowdfunding page will go towards getting the new changing rooms and completing our project at The Athletic. Any donation, big or small, will make a difference to every single one of our members and for future members for years to come. We currently run a blog on our website (www.Treharriskidsfootball.co.uk) showing the progress to date and we intend on keeping that going so everyone can see how we are getting on and where the funds that are raised are going.
Thank you for all the support to date, it really is very much appreciated by all of us at Treharris Athletic Western Mini & Junior Football Club.
These are just some of our players that will benefit from this new facility