Community Strategy Evidence Base

We have published a number of research summaries to support the development and delivery of the five priorities in the Community Sport Strategy, as well our Child Poverty Strategy. For each priority, the summaries set out:

  • key research findings - the rationale for the priorities and the calls to action included in the Strategy;
  • further issues for the sport sector to consider in meeting the priorities; and
  • questions for the sector to consider further. Sport Wales' research team will be undertaking a number of projects under these priorities in the coming months.

Much of the research referenced in the summaries has been commissioned by Sport Wales. These publications can be found in the Publications section of the website.

Thriving clubs

Increasing rates of sports club membership will require clubs to engage with a broader base of participants: more women and girls, more people from 'lower' social grades, more people seeking recreational opportunities to take part in sport, and more participants beyond the most able.

In this research summary, we explore how this might conflict with clubs' current goals, and set out why better coordinated local support will be required if we are to meet our aspiration to develop larger, stronger and thriving clubs.

Local decisions

When at school, most young people express demand for more opportunities to participate in sport. Yet by the time they reach adulthood, over half will stop demanding sport of any type. If we are to achieve our aspiration of hooking every child on sport for life, it will not be enough to meet existing demand.

We argue in this research summary that we can only achieve our aspiration of hooking every child on sport for life by decentralise the structures of Welsh sport, take decision-making closer to our diverse communities, and cultivate a desire to participate in sport amongst all people in Wales.

Quality education

In this summary, we set out the challenge for the sporting sector in Wales as we strive to hook every child on sport for life. Using data from the recentSchool Sport Survey 2011, we demonstrate that enjoyment of Physical Education (PE) and school sport declines as young people move into secondary school, particularly amongst girls, with a resulting drop-off in participation rates. Most teachers, meanwhile, believe that more time devoted to PE is needed in order to provide the required quality of education.

Committed workforce

We know that volunteers are vital to the continued success of Welsh sport. The challenge of recruiting the workforce we need to meet the aims of theCommunity Sport Strategyis a tough one, however. In this summary, we show that the existing workforce is dominated at all levels by men, that sport needs to be more proactive in reaching out to potential volunteers, and that a workforce which better focuses on customers is required in order to meet the needs of participants.

Appropriate facilities

Facilities are a vital element in inspiring participants and creating opportunities to take part in sport. Wales has a generally good range of provision in terms of built facilities, an excellent network of national regional facilities, and superb natural facilities for sport. Many facilities, however, are nearing the end of their lifespan and do not meet users' expectations.

This research summary sets out the implications of this for stretched local authority budgets, how some authorities are seeking to manage their facilities, and the need for better programming and stronger links to support sports clubs.

Child poverty

This research summary shows that there is apoverty of aspirationamongst young people in deprived communities. Not only are they less likely to participate in sport (particularly in sports clubs), they are less likely to express demand for most sports, and are less likely to have people around them who take part in sport.

Evidence to support the Community Strategy for Sport

In December 2011, Sport Wales commissioned a stakeholder consultation exercise to explore to explore five key priority areas that had been set out in the draft strategy. This work was undertaken by Brightpurpose Consulting, supplementing wider consultation activity undertaken by Sport Wales.

Also included in the consultation exercise were a series of focus groups to explore the issues faced by sports clubs and volunteers in developing and maintain sports clubs across Wales.