One man’s mission to document grassroots football in Wales
Grassroots football is the lifeblood of the game. Toby Rossiter is well aware of this.
The Welshman is aiming to celebrate the grassroots game in Wales with a photographic project he’s created called Forza Cymru, which portrays grassroots football culture in its truest form
“The community makes the football team,” he says. “Mums wash kits. Best mates and family support teams. Big characters in the community pour pints and put food on after the game. We want to pay homage to everything that is affiliated with amateur football. Not just the game on a Saturday.”
While the Premier League and the superstars of the game lap up the glamour and the financial rewards, Toby believes that grassroots football is long overdue recognition for the role it has played since the game began.
“Grassroots football is where the vast majority of us play the game, pros have had to graduate from and it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves,” he says. “The majority of the media is dedicated to the elite which is brilliant but the people at the bottom of the pyramid need celebrating too. We’ll be championing the professional game in Wales but grassroots is definitely the priority.”
Sense of community
Forza Cymru, which has its own Instagram and Twitter pages, is still in its infancy, but Toby has grand plans for the project.
“The plan is to get footage and stories of clubs and communities across the whole nation. Thanks to some of the followers who are providing local knowledge of their area.
“The majority of our content is shot on film, so one idea was that I send disposable cameras to people from different clubs so they can get the pictures for Instagram.
“This will promote a sense of community within Forza Cymru, something I’m keen to instil. Everyone playing a part and having an influence. Reflective of the very thing we are documenting.
“So if you’re down to show us around your local, give me a shout on the Instagram page. Diolch!”
This article first appeared in the latest issue of football culture fanzine Alternative Wales.
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