Improving LGB & T opportunities





Six years ago, there wasn't a single LGB&T football club in Wales. But that all changed, when a small group of gay men took a leap of faith and set up Cardiff Dragons FC.

They wanted a safe environment to play football, free from homophobia. And thanks to their commitment, and that of many other volunteers since then, the club now has more than 50 members, male and female, and of all football abilities.

But while the club has grown - attracting members from across Cardiff, West Wales, the Valleys and Bristol - it kept coming up against a stumbling block. Just one qualified coach.

Ali Mahoney says, "With just one qualified coach to lead our training sessions, it was often impractical given the numbers and abilities that we got along to training.

"We had to rely on non-qualified volunteers to coach and it was pretty challenging to ensure that players got the most out of training. We knew we needed to upskill volunteers so that training sessions would be better structured and catering for all abilities; from novices to very capable. We had another problem in that we only had one qualified first aider in the club so we needed to sort that out too."

We applied for a Community Chest grant from Sport Wales which was successful. This gave us the funding to book courses for our volunteers.

"For the first time in the club's six-year history," says Mahoney. "Members of our club are becoming qualified coaches and attending First Aid and Welfare courses. Without the Sport Wales grant of £1,120 from the Community Chest programme, there is no way that we would have been able to upskill so many people. For an amateur football club like ours, we would have been really limited in what courses we could have funded."

The club recently won the South Wales FA region Grassroots Impact Award, sponsored by McDonalds and in partnership with the FAW and Welsh Football Trust.


As a result of the project:

- 4 coaches qualified at FAW Level 1

- 4 volunteers took the FAW First Aid for Football Awareness course

- 2 volunteers took the FAW Welfare and Child protection course

- 3 coaches are currently on the FAW Level 2 course

- 2 coaches are booked onto the FAW Level 1 Goalkeeper Coaching course


Get in touch

Cardiff Dragons FC is an active member of the recently formed LGB & T Sport Cymru group which was established as a result of Sport Wales research into the LGB community and their involvement in sport. You can follow the group here ( and here (

If you want to join the club or just find out more because you're interested in increasing LGB &T sports opportunities, get in touch with the Dragons:


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