The power of football helped build the Red Wall in Wales, but it can also move mountains.
Just ask Barry Town United coach Chloe McBratney, who believes the same sport that has taken Wales fans to the threshold of a first World Cup finals is also helping her fulfil her coaching ambitions.
This month, grassroots football has been celebrating so many people’s love of the game with the help of the National Lottery.
The National Lottery Football Weekends campaign - which is making over 100,000 ‘Buy One Get One Free’ tickets available for non-league and local football club games across the UK - recently reached Barry.
It is there that Chloe, who is registered blind, currently coaches the Pan Disability side at Barry Town United.
Their aim is to make football as inclusive as possible, and Chloe is thankful for the support of the National Lottery in helping the community game cope with the consequences of the pandemic.
“My parents first took to me to play football when I was six years old,” she says.
“I was in an all-boys mainstream team until the age of 11 as from that age girls can’t play with boys anymore.
“I then fell out of football for a couple of years, but at the age of 17, I decided I wanted to coach disability football.
“I got in touch with Disability Sport Wales and they alerted me to the coaching for the future programme and that led to me coaching at the Vale Reds, who have since merged with Barry Town United.
“I started off as a volunteer and I didn’t really know much about coaching at the time but seven years later I am now one of the main coaches at the club.”
At the height of the pandemic, football clubs such as Barry were struggling for their very existence due to the consequences of not being able to make any money on match days.
In response, The National Lottery provided £12.5 million of emergency funding to support the community game, and this played a crucial part in helping clubs like Barry survive one of the most difficult times in their history.
“It was so important that we got funding from the National Lottery during Covid-19 as we are so much more than just a football club,” adds Chloe.
“It’s an amazing feeling knowing you can come every single week and improve not only your football, but your social aspects, too.
“I think football not only helps your physical health but your mental health as well.
“Coming back from the disruption of the last two years has been really important, as football is the one constant for a lot of people with disabilities so it’s great to give them that routine again.”