A leading Welsh housebuilder has stepped-in to support young players and families at a Cardiff-based rugby club.
Persimmon Homes East Wales has donated £1000 to Caerau Ely’s mini and junior section after a BBC report documented families in the community were having to ‘choose between food and children’s sport’.
Since forming in 2017, the section has attracted more than 150 players, which includes a large number of children from some of the most deprived areas of the capital city.
The funding will be used to enhance the club’s ‘boot bank’ where local youngsters exchange boots, and which has seen more than a hundred pairs redistributed, with currently few left.
Support will also ensure the club can continue to provide free food to junior members on training and playing days, ensuring the costs of participating in the sport remain as low as possible.
The donation has been made through the housebuilder’s Community Champions initiative, which donates up to £4,000 a month to good causes and organisations across Wales.
Commenting on the funding, Caerau Ely RFC’s manager Johanna Cotterrall said:
“We’re overwhelmed by this generous support from Persimmon East Wales.
“The donation from the local business will help us provide vital assistance for our junior members and their families during this incredibly challenging period.
“We have over 150 children at the club with many from some of the most deprived areas in Cardiff, and we don’t want to see any of our kids having to sacrifice playing the game due to financial pressures.
“This money will allow us to enhance our ‘boot club’ offering to kids, provide free grub on our Sunday match days, and ensure any associated playing costs remain as low as possible.
“On behalf of Caerau Ely RFC, I want to pay huge thanks to Persimmon East Wales for the help and support the business has provided our club and young players.”
Lee Woodfine, managing director for Persimmon Homes East Wales, said the company were determined to support the club after employees saw the BBC’s coverage.
“Our team was very moved by the work being undertaken by Johanna and the junior section at Caerau Ely RFC, and the difficulties their young players and families are facing.
“As a nation of rugby lovers, and a prominent local company, we were determined to support the club to help local families tackle some of the challenges they’re experiencing, and which are being seen right across the country.
“Persimmon has a significant presence in the capital city and we hope this funding will provide meaningful support to families in Ely, and importantly allow the children to continue playing our great game.”