St. Athan East
YMCA International Football Matches.
In 1949, a communication was received from the YMCA of Northern Ireland, suggesting that an international Football Match be arranged between YMCA Boys under 18 years of age, in Wales and YMCA Boys of a similar age in Northern Ireland. The invitation was received with enthusiasm and the first match was played at Aberaman, that year. It was a happy event enjoyed by both visitors and the home side. The inevitable followed and home and away matches were played each year, without a break until 1959.
Hospitality was arranged for the Irish boys at Coleg y Fro and, on occasion, in the homes of the Welsh boys and, in like manner, the Irish boys reciprocated. Here is a record of results:
Matches played: Wales Ireland Drawn
Eight. Three One Three
Abandoned (Bad weather)
A few international YMCA matches were played on similar lines between Wales and Scotland and others against England.
YMCA Championship International Matches were played in 1966 and 1968, between YMCA Teams from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. These took place during a weekend at Rhoose and Rhyl, respectively.
The qualitative impact of the new Youth Associations on the work of the YMCA in Wales.
The growth of membership in new centres was a unique contribution to the total Welsh membership. In two or three years it reached the 2,800 mark which amounted to an increase of 37.3%.
It was an enthusiastic membership, steady in attendance, friendly and cordial and eager to participate in efforts to enlist new members.
This early membership, with minor fluctuations, remained reasonably static over a period of twenty years. Each year losses of members were equated by an enrolment of new members.
Management officials in the Mining industry urged their young miners to become YMCA members. After heavy labour and toil in the coal seams during the day and, sometimes night shifts, the hours spent in the bright, decorated rooms and hall of the Youth Club provided a fresh environment. They had opportunities to join in activities which appealed to youth. These