Getting everyone in Wales active can unleash a range of benefits - including better health and well-being and more connected communities.
But needs the support of everyone in Wales to ensure its success; from those directly involved in physical activity to others helping deliver public services such as health, education, natural resources and economic development.
- Enjoyment key factor for active nation
- New £5m fund to encourage and share ideas for helping people live healthy and active lives
Taking forward the collective approach, a new Healthy and Active Fund (HAF) – a partnership between Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Public Health Wales – will be announced to encourage and share innovative ideas that support people to build physical activity into their lives and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
The first phase investment of £5m over three years will focus on improving physical activity levels, encouraging solutions to take advantage of collaboration, existing community assets such as clubs, schools and workplaces, and new technology. Full details of the HAF application process will be announced in the Autumn.
In addition, Sport Wales will be launching the new Vision for Sport in Wales, at the core of which is a focus on encouraging an active lifestyle and a lifelong participation in sport through a wider range of enjoyable and accessible experiences
The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas said:
“I’ve been very clear that one of my primary priorities as Minister is to improve accessibility across all aspects of my portfolio. Nowhere is this more important that in sport, where making it as easy as possible for people from across Wales to enjoy the benefits of physical activity comes with enormous, cross cutting benefits.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to recently witness some outstanding projects which are seeing individuals from all backgrounds get more involved with sport, some for the first time. Through continuing to work together towards a common goal of making sport as accessible and enjoyable as possible I’m optimistic that we can build on these successes and further increase participation.
“This new fund, alongside a refreshed vision for the future, will look to facilitate just that and I very much look forward to seeing it help deliver a healthier, more active Wales for us all.”
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said:
“Becoming healthy and active should not feel like an ordeal or something to be apprehensive about. It should be something that is fun, open to everyone and a way for people, families and communities to come together. I look forward to the first projects supported by the Fund being up and running early next year, delivering innovative solutions and making a real contribution to the health and well-being of people across Wales.”
After a Wales-wide public conversation, the need for enjoyable experiences to be central to getting people active was a resounding message.
Ensuring people have a lifelong participation is another core theme of turning Wales into a more active nation, which will influence a new collective approach to sport in Wales.
Chair of Sport Wales, Lawrence Conway said:
“It was refreshing to speak to so many people across Wales about their views on sport, being active and how they are inspired by the success of those competing at the highest levels.
“A consistent message was that the people’s experience of sporting activity was vitally important - the fun and enjoyment aspects being central to whether people would want to come back or carry on being active. The sporting offer needs to be engaging and varied, with the informal and less competitive versions being important for those who may not see themselves as sporty.
“The collective approach to getting people participating will also be vital and the partnership we’ve developed with Public Health Wales is a positive step in bringing this vision to life.”
Dr Chrissie Pickin, Executive Director for Health and Wellbeing at Public Health Wales said:
“In many of our communities too many people are living in poor health as a result of conditions such as cancer, heart disease and bone and joint problems.
“Being inactive is a risk factor for all of these conditions. Helping us incorporate physical activity into our daily lives is one of the best ways we can both prevent and improve some of these conditions, as well as helping us feel good.
“The Healthy and Active Fund is a welcome boost to help our communities become more active, no matter what activity you choose, where you live or how much money you have.”
For more on the Vision for Sport in Wales visit www.visionforsport.wales.