Lessons in Welsh are making a big splash and even encouraging
youngsters from other counties to cross the border to learn in
their first language.
"We wanted to improve our links with our Welsh language schools
and that was our initial motivation," said Jared Lougher, Caerphilly County Borough Council's Sport and
Leisure Development Manager.
"I had some really good discussions with the Urdd about
building on our partnership and the resources and strengths we
could bring to the table.
"We agreed to integrate one of the Urdd sports development staff
into our sports development team and it paid dividends for both of
us. We had access to facilities and staff and the Urdd had the
links with our Welsh language schools - it was a win-win for both
"Immediately we found that there was latent demand for swimming
sessions through the Welsh language. We identified some pool space
and the officers were able to advertise the sessions and work with
"Over 50 people expressed an interest in participating in the
sessions, which we were really pleased with, and so the programme
was set up initially at Bedwas Leisure Centre with the aim of focusing
on other areas later in the year."
The Urdd are responsible for recruitment of new participants and
the sport and leisure department for the up-skilling of swimming
teachers, the programme and arranging pool time.
Local Authority Partnership Agreement (LAPA) funding was given
by Sport Wales through the Caerphilly Local Plan for Sport, to keep
the costs affordable.
"The partnership is key because this is genuine
collaboration and bringing your strengths together to provide
opportunities," adds Lougher. "It's clear now that there was a gap
"Research is important so you know exactly what demand is there
before you commit.
"We weren't exclusive either. We've had people come to lessons
from other counties because they want to take part in lessons in
their first language. We're all about getting more people doing
sport so that is all good with us."
Key Success Factors:
1. Partnerships that bring genuine benefits. In this case, the
Urdd sports officer being integrated more closely into the
2. Research. Knowing what the demand is and where your customers
3. Make sure your provision is sustainable before moving on.