August 2021 – July 2022
This year, the FE sector has come together to adapt, collaborate, and innovate as a result of the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic while maintaining as much of the usual offer to learners, staff, communities, and businesses as possible. Here we look at some of the great work that ColegauCymru has delivered for active wellbeing and sport in colleges this year.
Following a challenging year with both indoor and outdoor sport and activity heavily affected by Covid-19 restrictions, ColegauCymru has supported FE colleges to facilitate a safe return to competitive sport and has ensured that all college sport is able to operate at full capacity heading into the 2022/23 academic year.
ColegauCymru commissioned a review into the impact of Covid-19 on Further Education sports learners, and we subsequently carried out further research into the connection between activity and wellbeing and its impact on educational attainment in FE. The research recognised the extensive role ColegauCymru and our Active Wellbeing Strategy has in supporting FEIs and learners to access active wellbeing opportunities and community volunteering and coaching.
We have also helped to deliver several wellbeing projects over the past year. This includes events such as the Outdoor Challenge in Treharris which was organised as part of Welsh Government Winter of Wellbeing (WoW) funding and saw the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden MS, meet learners and volunteers. We also delivered an FE Multisport Event in Pembrey which was made possible as a result of Welsh Government Mental Health funding for the FE sector. The return of face-to-face activity supported access to inclusive opportunities for less active learners; from young women/girls, those from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and learners with additional learning needs. These activities were delivered in disadvantaged areas.
ColegauCymru has also supported Welsh Government and the evaluation team at ECORYS in providing impact reports and data from the Winter of Wellbeing project delivery, to demonstrate the wider impact of the programme. Additionally, we have helped Welsh Government in their understanding of the long-term benefits of activity and wellbeing. This has included innovative approaches to evaluating the impact of activity and was again made possible through mental health funding provided to the FE sector.
Rob Baynham, Active Wellbeing and Sport Project Manager