The Value of Sport

We believe that sport has a huge role to play in contributing to the overall wellbeing of the nation.  It is our intention to ensure that its value (both on and off the pitch) is understood across sectors and different areas so that it can make an even greater impact among those who need it the most.

To this end, Sport Wales commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University to conduct research into the financial impact that sport has against the overall wellbeing of the population.

This research looks to show the value that sport has to the nation and the contribution that it can make against a number of key agendas such as health, crime, education and wellbeing.

Over the coming months findings will be released showing the social return on the investment that sport can generate against these different areas and the overall economic impact it produces for the economy.

We will be looking to use this insight to help us further the work that we do with partners from other sectors, to continue to increase the positive impact that sport and physical activity can have on the lives of people in Wales.



For more information about the findings on the Social Return on Investment (SROI) on sport in Wales, read the press release here and follow #ValueofSport on social media. 



Sporting Spotlight: How Sport Can Help Reduce Crime and Youth Offending

Today Sport Wales is highlighting the role that sport plays in reducing crime and youth offending. Successful projects show that sport gives young people a sense of purpose, helping them to learn skills, gain confidence and give them opportunities for their future careers.

Getting children involved in sporting activities at a young age can stop them from committing crimes, and can save the police money as well, says Jeff Cuthbert, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent.

Speaking to Sport Wales, the Commissioner was keen to highlight the benefits that sport offers young people who may be vulnerable - giving them self-confidence, self-worth and a sense of purpose and belonging.

He said: "Sport is important to us in terms of crime prevention and helping to turn young peoples' lives around. If you can stop young people turning to crime, you're not only helping them but you're preventing others from becoming victims of crime, which carries not only its own trauma for those people, but enormous expense to the public purse."

Across Wales, all four Police and Crime Commissions invest in sporting projects because they recognise the value that these projects can have if they are delivered correctly.  This is in line with independent analysis from Sheffield Hallam University commissioned by Sport Wales, which identified an annual figure of £2.17m in savings as a result of crime prevention through sport in Wales.  This is a very conservative figure based on an estimated 1% reduction in criminal incidents for males aged 10-24 years.  The broader impact across different genders and age groups is likely to be much higher.

Owen Hathway, Head of Policy and Insight at Sport Wales, said: "There's a wealth of good practice going on at the moment across Wales, where sport is collaborating with partners and other agencies in order to engage young people and prevent crime."

StreetGames is an anti-poverty charity which uses sport to change the lives of disadvantaged young people across the UK. They have released research in conjunction with Loughborough University which demonstrates that effectively-delivered sports projects can help to reduce youth-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

Aaron Northmore from StreetGames, said: "Sport is an ideal hook to engage the young people who are facing these difficulties and by providing them with positive role models in the form of coaches and volunteers, it gives them skills for life such as teamwork, and builds their confidence."

Sarah Powell, CEO of Sport Wales, commented: "Sport can play a crucial role in helping vulnerable young people to take a different path in life.  By giving them positive role models, a safe space to express themselves and an opportunity to make friends and work in teams, sport is an ideal vehicle to engage young people and help them fulfil their potential."

Owen Hathway added: "Evidence shows that early intervention makes a big difference in the outcomes of vulnerable young people, giving them far better life chances for the future.  Sport is proven to be a great way to reach and engage those young people, and by doing more activities in the right way we can make more of a difference in the future."

Watch our film here

Sport's Social Return on Investment against Health


The highlights

The report shows that without people taking part in regular physical activity, there would be an additional £295million per annuum cost to health budgets.

It is also estimated that taking part in regular physical activity reduces the risk of major illness by up to 30%.

Findings link the savings in this area to reduced treatment of major illness, general time spent in GP appointments and reduced pressures on front line NHS staff and services.



Further details

  • Read the health press release here
  • Get the full findings and methodology here
  • View examples of where physical activity is making an impact within health settings here
  • Hear our Head of Insight, Owen Hathway discuss the findings with Aneurin Bevan Health Board Senior Practitioner Kathryn Cross and National Exercise Referral Manager Jeannie Wyatt-Williams, on our podcast here