What do football and singing have in common? An awful lot more than you might think!
Teamwork, camaraderie, discipline, passion; The Roberts family have all of these in abundance.
Meet Josh, Tom, Joseph, and Sam. Proud members of Wrexham Only Boys Aloud choir and players for local football teams Borras Park Albion and Hope Dragons. the boys have experienced first-hand the benefits of both on their pathways to success.
Over the last ten years, the Roberts family’s boys have taken part in their local Only Boys Aloud choir in Wrexham.
“The experiences the boys have had have been simply incredible” said dad, David Roberts. “They’ve performed at Disneyland; met Katherine Jenkins; performed at the Houses of Parliament. We’ve lived in Wrexham our entire lives and we’ve never found an activity where they’ve learned as much, made as many memories, and had such fantastic opportunities.”
Having gained a first-class honours degree in acting and musical theatre from Royal Central, eldest Josh is about to embark on a career as a performer.
“The focus and drive instilled in Josh by Only Boys Aloud has been the making of him and really shaped his pathway. We’re also big Wrexham FC fans and season ticket holders. Alongside Only Boys Aloud, Josh has always been active in local football and carried on with that throughout university where he coached his team. He’s a clear example of how you can do football and arts and all the benefits they bring”.
Second son Tom is also following a creative pathway. Having recently gained a 2:1 degree in comedy writing at Salford University and taken his company Glass Crumpet to the Edinburgh Fringe Tom isn’t afraid of taking centre stage.
“The confidence that Only Boys Aloud has given the boys is unbelievable. It’s helped them to believe that they don’t just have to blend into the crowd” said David.
The Roberts’ third son is 15-year-old Joseph who is a current member of Only Boys Aloud in Wrexham.
“As a teacher I see the pressures our young people are facing today” David said. “More distractions, more bullying, more bothered by social media, exam stress. Only Boys Aloud lets Joseph have space to have fun with friends.”
“Joseph is also goalkeeper for Borras Park Albion. When there was a clash between football and Only Boys Aloud he was determined he was going to keep up with both. He’s committed and divides his time.”
Youngest Sam is desperate to follow in his brothers’ footsteps and join Only Boys Aloud but isn’t quite old enough yet!
“Sam was delighted to gain a place on the Only Kids Aloud choir programme this year and has loved all the residential trips across Wales” said mum Maxine Roberts. “Soon he’ll be old enough to join Only Boys Aloud and benefit from the amazing experiences his brothers have.”
Only Boys Aloud is not just a choir, it’s so, so much more than that.
The boys have always balanced Only Boys Aloud with other local activities including supporting Wrexham FC as season ticket holders, playing for local football teams, being members of Scouts, and taking part in local drama groups.
“It’s a juggling act that’s for sure!” said David. “It’s a lot of back and forth but we just look at all the positives and what we have to show for it is fantastic, grounded lads. Its good knowing that the boys are out and involved in their local community, we know where they are and that they’re enjoying themselves with like-minded people.”
“Only Boys Aloud is not just a choir, it’s so, so much more than that. Of course, the music is important, but it’s the fun they have, the experiences, the confidence they gain. The trips give young people the opportunity to mix with people from different areas, build confidence, give them space to grow. And there’s a great deal of peer support. It’s a real family and it is its own community”.
The Only Boys Aloud choir in Wrexham is open to any boy aged 11-19. The group is non-auditioned and welcomes all levels of experience. Involvement is completely free and open to anyone. The group meet on a Tuesday evening at Wrexham University 18:30-20:30. If you know a young person who would like to get involved contact [email protected]