Great Dane Svend inspires Bluebirds' faithful

A captivated audience!

Haverfordwest County recently hosted a special visit from inspirational speaker Svend Elkjaer, who originally hails from Denmark but is now engaged with a promotional programme established by the Football Associations of Wales and Ireland.

Svend's role is to encourage football clubs to become major focal points of their community, not only in football but across the spectrum, and including ladies, children, disability, mental health and loneliness - and The Bluebirds were one of only two clubs chosen to promote the scheme in conjunction with the Vi-Ability Social Enterprise Scheme, which in our area has Wyndham Williams as its community development officer, based at the Conygar Bridge Meadow.

Svend shows what can be done

Over 20 interested men and women attended the two-hour session to listen to Svend's well-presented talk where he outlined his belief that football clubs should not only be focussed on first-team football but in making the club an integral part  of the community as part of the 'More Than A Club" venture.

He pointed out that the impressive facilities at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium are better than at least 95% of all other clubs in Wales and that it would be a crying shame if they weren't utilised at every opportunity during the week.

Now that Svend has provided food for thought he will return to the Bluebirds' Clubhouse next week to hold another meeting, this time with anyone who feels they have something to offer in moving things forward.

Wyndham is already in full swing with ‘’Football Transformation’ and ‘Run the Club’ . . .

Svend in full swingHe praised Wyndham and the V-Ability Scheme for already developing ideas like walking football, the 'Football Transformation Programme' (where Ysgol Arberth and Ysgol Ger y Llan ) are already working at issues like gaining confidence, promoting self-esteem and avoiding loneliness, health and emotional well-being alongside literacy and numeracy, engagement and leadership skills, through a range of football-based scenarios.

Then there is a 'Run The Club' programme for 16 to 30 year olds over two days a week for eight weeks - and promotes the establishment of commercial awareness to help develop their own clubs. It is fully funded and aims to provide a whole range of experiences which will help young people gain that range of skills.

These include Marketing and HR, Branding and Promotion, Marketing, Recruitment and Event Planning alongside a number of others as it begins at The Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium on the 5th February.

. . . Plus ‘We Wear the Same Shirt’ and ‘Football Reminiscences’

The Football Association of Wales Trust has also honored the club with selection for the 'We Wear the Same Shirt' programme at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium, which will help offer support for people living with a mental health condition and establish a public campaign to raise awareness of the stigma often attached to it.

It is a unique pilot programme that will run throughout the remaining Winter months and will take place at Sir Thomas Picton Sports Centre on Tuesdays between 5pm and 6pm, and sponsored by Elliotts Hill Care Services - and more details of all the above can be gained by contacting Wyndham Williams on 01437 769048 or 07718426095, or by e-mailing or visiting

And finally, the club is hosting 'Football Reminiscence', where people are invited to attend the clubhouse on Thursdays at 10.30am to 12.30pm to chat about their football of yesteryear and share a cuppa with PAVs and other local volunteers. "

Exciting challenges ahead

This scheme is popular with those suffering with dementia and others who simply enjoy a walk down memory lane," Wyndham told us, " and there also plans afoot for other ways of achieving hub status for our community in having match-day mascots, schools helping with art work to brighten the rear of hoardings around the perimeter of the pitch, linking with sponsors, and other suggestions made by the VC Gallery in Haverfordwest."

These are clearly exciting times off the pitch, as well as on it, with Haverfordwest County and rest assured we will continue to provide news of all that is going on!

Svend with Barry Vaughan, Steve Batty and Wyndham Williams

A captivated audience!
Svend in full swing
Svend with Barry Vaughan, Steve Batty and Wyndham Williams