Leading sporting organisations throughout Wales are showing their appreciation to everyone that has ever bought a National Lottery ticket in a joint letter and a video message as part of The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday celebrations.

Titled ‘Because You Play’, the video features high-profile sporting heroes including Wales Women’s national football player, Ffion Morgan, who appeared for the team during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying cycle.

She joins other sporting talent from across the UK in the film including swimmer Duncan Scott, four-time Olympic gold medallist GB Cyclist Laura Kenny, Team Wales gymnast, Emily Thomas and England and Wales Captain of the 2019 Cricket World Cup team, Eoin Morgan, as well as grassroots participants such as Thai Chi participant, Yee Lau and volunteers.

An open letter from each of the sporting organisations has also been shared with the public via social media, celebrating the impact The National Lottery has had on grassroots sport across the UK.

The video shows how funding from The National Lottery has been crucial for grassroots sport across the UK, with athletes and participants showing their thanks for everything that has been achieved thanks to The National Lottery players, including improved facilities and more opportunities to play.

Wales international footballer, Ffion Morgan, says “It’s so important to invest in grassroots sport, and help people get active and get fit. There are so many benefits to taking part in sporting activities, and National Lottery Players are making it possible.”

In the last 25 years, more than £166 million of National Lottery funding has been invested to 17,300 grassroots sports projects in Wales - creating opportunities for everyone to get fit and improve their lives through sport. Over the years, National Lottery funding has been used to fund facilities, create playing fields and increase playing opportunities for millions of people.

One of the causes that The National Lottery has helped to fund is the Talycopa AFC, a community youth football team based in Trallwyn, Swansea. One of only 8 FA Wales Gold Accredited football clubs in Wales, Talycopa fields teams for boys and girls of all ages.

Talycopa Girls are one of the most active Welsh clubs getting more young girls to play football. They are part of the FA Wales Huddle initiative, a 10-week programme for girls aged 5-12 designed to encourage ‘the positive health and social benefits of football’.

This month Talycopa sent 6 girls to the WSFA U13s Girls national trails – giving them the opportunity to play for their country and follow in the footsteps of role models like Ffion Morgan.

Highlighting the impact of National Lottery funding on Grassroots Sport over the last quarter of a century, Sport Wales CEO, Sarah Powell, said:

“Over the past 25 years the National Lottery has made an enormous difference to sport in Wales.  The most visible effect is perhaps with our elite athletes, who we see winning medals at Olympics and Commonwealth Games, doing incredible feats of sporting endeavour, and showcasing the passion and pride of Wales on the world stage
But perhaps the most important impact of the National Lottery is less high profile. 

It’s the thousands of local clubs in our communities who have been able to give children properly delivered sports sessions, thanks to coaching courses funded by the National Lottery. 

It’s the facilities that are no longer run down and broken, but which have been replaced with good quality pitches, club houses, tracks and sports halls, which mean that sport can carry on all year round despite the vagaries of the Welsh weather. 

It’s the way that people from groups which have traditionally not taken part in sport have been inspired by innovative approaches that work for them, and through this have discovered a love of sport and physical activity.” 

The activity is part of a season of events to celebrate The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday. The events happening throughout November and into early December will reflect The National Lottery’s 25-year legacy, celebrating projects and people who have benefitted from National Lottery funding over the last quarter of a century.

The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK. Since The National Lottery began, over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK. That’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.

The 25th Birthday National Lottery activities are a great opportunity to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.