Launch of 'This is Welsh Football' photo competition

The competition ─ part of the build-up to this season's men's and women's finals in Cardiff ─ is open to all ages and abilities, with entrants asked to submit photos showing grassroots football in Wales.

The winners will be awarded UEFA Champions League final tickets
The winners will be awarded UEFA Champions League final tickets ©Getty Images

UEFA, together with the Football Association of Wales (FAW), is launching the 'This is Welsh Football' photography competition as part of the build-up to the finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League and UEFA Champions League, which will both be played in Cardiff on 1 June and 3 June respectively.

The theme of the photography competition is grassroots football across Wales. The competition comprises two different categories: what happens on the pitch, and what happens off it.

The winning photos will be selected by jury members who are experts in the field of football and/or photography:

  • David Rawcliffe: Official FAW Welsh national teams photographer 
  • Helen Ward: Welsh women’s international & Yeovil Town Ladies  FC
  • Owain Fôn Williams: Welsh men’s international & Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC 
  • Nick Capaldi: Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales
  • Paul Murphy: Digital Image Coordinator, UEFA
  • Paul Gilham: Director of Photography for Getty Images Sport

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a private opening of the UEFA Champions League Gallery at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 31 May, when the winners will also be announced and awarded UEFA Champions League final tickets, as well as Sony Cameras.

The competition is open to anyone, with the only condition being that their photos should depict an aspect of Welsh grassroots football. Photos can be submitted here until 30 April 2017.

What is grassroots football?
Football is based on the grassroots, played everywhere by men and women, boys and girls. The sport brings wider benefits to society as a whole, as it is not only about football skills, but also about values such as teamwork, social development, health, fitness and personal fulfilment.

Grassroots football is also a vehicle for educational, social and sporting development, and as such, everybody should have the opportunity to get involved in the game. Grassroots football gives everyone that opportunity, irrespective of their age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion or sexual identity.

Why is UEFA investing in grassroots football?
UEFA believes that football and the joy of the game should be available for everyone, and considers the benefits that the sport brings to society to be a crucial driving force in all the work it does.

Welsh grassroots football
Football is the most popular spectator and participation sport in Wales, inspired by iconic Welsh players like John Charles, John Toshack, Jayne Ludlow, Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale. Football is a way of life in Wales: a game woven into the fabric of society, enjoyed by thousands of men, women and children at all levels throughout the year. The vision of the Football Association of Wales is of a nation where football is more than a game, achieved through realising our ambitions from grassroots to elite level football.

In 2015, the Welsh football club Merthyr Town FC won the UEFA Grassroots Award for Best Grassroots Club. The club embodies the very essence of sport and community spirit, embracing coach education, fun football and small-sided games, while facilitating the sport for a wide target group. With the pitch always in use, the club is able to use football as a means of tackling social issues at the heart of the town.