Football Association of Wales

The Football Association of Wales to challenge current matchday mobility principles and good housekeeping with their new ACCESS Action Plan  

Alongside other Acton Plans being published by other sport organisations participating in the ACCESS project, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has published its own, too, focusing on mobility, waste management and awareness raising.

A recent survey conducted over the last 6 home matches of the Welsh men’s national team showed that only around 20% of match goers use public transportation. This fact might sound rather striking, considering the fact that the majority of the matches are played in Wales’ capital city Cardiff. However, taking into account the rural nature of the country and considerable distances supporters need to travel, this low share start making sense. But it can be improved and reversed if reliable and suitable services are provided. Therefore, with the objective of increasing the number of fans using public transport and active travel to get to matches, the FAW has been working with Transport for Wales (TfW) to improve accessibility to matches by public transport, as historically train travel to matches has been mired by difficulties with trains being delayed, cancelled or being over capacity. After new measures put in place by TfW it is expected that trains will have the adequate capacity, timetabling appropriate for matches and reduced cancellations.

Joint communication activities are already undergoing, led by the FAW, Transport for Wales, as well as different fan clubs, since March in order to reach out to all supporters who could be users of these services. The results of these initiatives will be known towards the end of the year.

Another pilot action will be more internal to the FAW, as it would be targeting their facilities, offices and other sites. The Welsh FA own three major training centres used by various national teams, coaching and refereeing schools and other users; one being in the north of the country, Colliers Park near Wrexham, another in the south – Dragon Park in Newport and finally the FA’s headquarters outside of Cardiff. According to the FAW,  waste management systems were lacking which lead to excessive waste going to landfill. Moreover, waste management contracts needed to be reviewed and improved. In addition to this the FAW has identified that staff awareness and engagement in waste reduction activity needs improvement.

The plan will change the previously mentioned status quo. While previous waste management contracts meant that only paper, cardboard and metals were recycled the pilot action has led to plastics, glass and food waste also being recycled. The next phase of the pilot project will be around organising awareness and education activities for the staff. These will start with necessary baseline assessments to understand waste generation across sites and education and awareness of staff leading to increased engagement and recycling and waste reduction.

Related with the previous campaigns, one last action that will be implemented is based on education and awareness. The objective is to use the national team’s matches in autumn 2024 for organising a sustainability themed match which would expand the knowledge and commitment of the public regarding the Red Wall fan club and the FAW’s sustainability strategy and by encouraging them to act more sustainably themselves by reducing the amount of waste they generate and by using more sustainable methods of transport.

These pilot actions perfectly reflect the priorities and policies, namely the National Transport Delivery Plan, the Welsh law for all businesses, charities and public sector organisations to sort their waste for recycling and the Welsh government policy on waste – beyond recycling strategy, as well as other strategies of the Welsh Government which would make up a large chunk of the FAW’s communication and awareness raising campaign.

Photo credits: © Copyright John Lucas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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