JULIE Christopher was crowned Welsh Football’s Community Coach of the Year at last weekend’s Football Association of Wales (FAW) annual awards ceremony in Cardiff.
The Llandrindod Wells coach was recognised for her work in transforming the Spa town club’s junior girls section into one of the strongest in Central Wales.
The awards night was held at the Cardiff City Stadium, sponsored by McDonalds and attended by stars of the Welsh game.
Christopher first became involved to help safeguard the club’s junior girls section which her daughters were members but beset by dwindling numbers.
However in just five years Christopher has developed a thriving section with more than 60 players aged between four and 16 with a quintet of the club’s players joining Welsh junior camps.
Christopher has also taken up key roles in the North Powys Girls League and continued to play a leading role in developing the girls and women’s game in Central Wales.
Christopher said: “I feel very honoured but embarrassed to have been nominated, I feel that I just did what any parent would do by making sure I gave my daughters every possible opportunity to do something they really wanted to do.
“Both of my daughters have played for the girls club and became qualified coaches within the club.
“My youngest daughter was selected for the South Wales development squad and last season played for Aberystwyth in the Women's Welsh Premier League and is now about to study PE and Sports Coaching at university.
“I feel my decision to take over the club was definitely the right one as it has helped shaped both of my daughters futures.
“I get so much enjoyment from seeing all of the girls having so much fun, making friends and being so pleased with themselves when they see how they have improved. This makes all the hard work so worth it.”
Former Manchester United star and McDonakds head of Welsh football, Ryan Giggs also praised the Llandrindod Wells coach.
“The extraordinary commitment and dedication shown by Julie is inspiring, making her a very worthy winner of the Community Coach of the Year award.”
See full story in the County Times