ColegauCymru was pleased to contribute to the Senedd’s Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee’s inquiry into Participation in sport in disadvantaged areas.
We were encouraged to see recommendations made in relation to our suggestion for a Wales-wide audit of the facilities currently available. We expect further education college campuses to be a key part of any audit as we have a valuable and ongoing contribution to make via our network of local campuses and sporting facilities.
ColegauCymru also suggested the need to increase and improve data and research and we were heartened to see a recommendation to that effect, with the report recognising the significant issues in data for current participation levels in sporting activity and how this is measured.
The Committee also acknowledges that gender continues to be a significant factor in participation in sports in disadvantaged areas. Reasons for this include girls’ motivation and enjoyment of sport which reduces throughout adolescence and often negative attitudes towards sport are formed.
ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing and Sport Project Manager, Rob Baynham, said,
“Further education colleges make a huge contribution to the active wellbeing of thousands of learners, particularly in hard-to-reach groups and in disadvantaged areas. We know that many college facilities are already available for use by local communities and that this opportunity is valued. We’re pleased to see the Committee taking on board several of our recommendations and look forward to working together to make positive changes that will impact areas that have a lot to gain from involvement in sport and activity.”
ColegauCymru continues to be committed to supporting active wellbeing in disadvantaged areas and groups as detailed in the findings of two sets of research we commissioned in 2021. The research looked into the effects of Covid19 on sport and wellbeing in further education colleges across Wales. This research identified a need to re-engage with young people, particularly girls, and the future workforce in sport, due to missed opportunities for coaching and volunteering during the pandemic. The research led to ColegauCymru, with the support of Welsh Government, holding a series of events to engage less active learners and those groups most affected by the pandemic.
Welsh Parliament Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee report
Levelling the playing field - A report on participation in sport and physical activity in disadvantaged areas