Budding football stars at a Gwynedd school now have something in common with Hollywood A-listers Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
The Year 7 and 8 boys’ and girls’ teams at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn in Bala have taken delivery of a smart new kit donated by Ifor Williams Trailers who have factories in nearby Cynwyd and Corwen.
They are in good company because the trailer company are also the shorts sponsor of Wrexham AFC which is co-owned by the It’s Only Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney and Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds.
The smart black and white hooped jerseys, which are trimmed in red and proudly carry the schools crest as well as the sponsors name, were handed over to the school’s team captains by Ifor Williams Trailers production site manager Jak Tyrer.
Born and raised in Bala, Jak has close links with the school, as a former pupil and the father of 10-year-old Harri, a promising attacking midfield player, who is a current pupil.
It was a secondary school called Ysgol y Berwyn in Jak’s day but in 2019 it was configured and children from local primaries – Ysgol Bro Tegid and Ysgol Beuno Sant – moved to the site which was renamed Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn where 560 pupils aged between three and 18 are educated.
Jak said: “I played for the school football team and the rugby team too and really enjoyed the experience of playing against other schools.
“Ifor Williams Trailers has always had a policy of supporting the local community and we have helped out with football kit and computer equipment at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn in the past and were happy to help once again with a new kit for the Year 7 and 8 football teams.
“We wish them all the best wearing the new kit on the pitches here in Bala and elsewhere.”
His son, a Liverpool FC fan, added: “I enjoy playing football and the new kit looks great. I’m hoping I can play for the team when I’m in Year 7 next year.”
Year 8 girls captain Cari Rowlands said the kit has already been worn by the team in a cup match.
Cari, one of the team’s strikers, said: “We lost to Tywyn on penalties but it was a good game.”
Year 7 boys captain Finley Benny plays in either central defence or midfield and has represented Gwynedd Schools as well as being on the books of TNS, the leading Cymru Premier league club.
The Manchester United fan said: “Getting the opportunity to play sport is important to me and I’m proud to play for the school teams.”
Phase 2 teacher Owain Williams is responsible for the two teams and approached Ifor Williams Trailers through Jak.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted that our pupils have this fantastic new kit thanks to Ifor Williams Trailers.
“They look great and we know this will give them a great boost to be the best team possible.
“The games in the next few weeks are coming thick and fast. Both the girls and the boys team have several games coming up before the Christmas break.”
The boys’ Year 7 team recently beat Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn 8-1 to reach the third round of the Welsh Schools’ Cup.
Owain added : “Jak and I both play football for Llanuwchllyn Reserves and we’re the old hands among what is a young team. Many of the players have played for the school team. Indeed some of them are still pupils here.
“Llanuwchllyn play in the Ardal North East League, which is in the third tier of the Welsh football system and its proving to be a good season. “The club reached the second round of Cwpan Cymru recently and were unlucky to lose against Buckley Town,” he said..
Maria Jones, the Assistant Head of Phase 2 (Years 5 to 8) added: “Last year the Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn girls rugby team made it through to the national Tag Rugby Competition finals in Aberystwyth and won to become National Champions.
“And the boys football team, wearing their kit which was also donated to the school by Ifor Williams Trailers, travelled to Aberystwyth to take on the best of Wales in the Urdd National Football competition and finished nineth through Wales.”