National Assembly for Wales


Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee


CELG(4) PS 03


Inquiry into participation levels in sport in Wales

Response from : Pembrokeshire County Council


1)   The extent to which the Welsh Government and Sport Wales are achieving the goals set out in the Programme for Government, the Creating an Active Wales action plan and the Vision for Sport in Wales with regard to participation levels in sport;


Pembrokeshire County Council’s (PCC) ‘Creating an Active Wales’ action plan involves collaboration between a variety of partner agencies i.e.  PCC Sports Development, PCC Leisure Services, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, PCC Transportation, Public Health Wales, Health Challenge Pembrokeshire, Planed, Learning Pembrokeshire and Pembrokeshire Youth.


Sport Wales have been party to all discussions relating to Creating an Active Wales within Pembrokeshire, but have always emphasized that their priority and focus remains within the ‘Sport’ section of the Physical Activity spectrum outlined within the action plan.   


Pembrokeshire County Council’s Local Authority Partnership Agreement with Sport Wales provides the Sport and Physical Activity delivery plan for the county, which links directly with objectives set out in the Vision for Sport in Wales.


Both the Creating an Active Wales action plan and the Vision for Sport in Wales strategy have influenced the creation of PCC’s Sport and Physical Activity Results Based Accountability (RBA) Report Card, which has provided the Local Authority with overarching strategic Priorities and Population Indicators for Sport and Physical Activity in Pembrokeshire.


PCC’s Sport & Physical Activity RBA Report card links directly with the South West and Mid Wales Regional headline priorities and performance indicators, which in turn directly aligns with the National RBA produced by the Chief Officers for Leisure steering group.


2)    The availability of datasets and statistics to measure participation levels in sport, particularly those disaggregated by equality strand and socio-economic groups;

Pembrokeshire had a highly successful response rate to the 2011 National School Sport Survey which has in turn provided the Local Authority with robust qualitative data.  Detail from these reports has been shared with local schools, teaching staff, pupils, PCC Cabinet members, PCC Sports Development, PCC Leisure Services, PCC Youth Services, National Governing Bodies and other partner agencies that would benefit from such statistical information.  The survey not only provided the Local Authority with accurate statistics on levels of participation and provision but also provided numerous schools with individual reports outlining perceptions of Physical Education, community sport and barriers to participation.


The School Sport Survey has helped to shape the population indicators within PCC’s RBA report card.  This has subsequently allowed officers within both the Sports Development and Leisure Services departments to align their individual work programmes and action plans accordingly. 


The School Sport Survey also provides statistical breakdowns of Free School Meal quartiles which have allowed the Local Authority to begin analysing the links between poverty and participation, subsequently targeting work in appropriate areas.

There is currently still a lack of up to date information and statistics at both a National, Regional and Local level in the following areas;

·         Adult sports related volunteers,

·         Adult obesity rates,

·         Childhood Obesity rates,

·         Adult participation rates,

·         Regional Swimming Participation for all ages.

3)    The opportunities and barriers to sports participation that exist for different groups of people, including by equality strand and socio-economic groups;

The links between socio-economic groups and participation have been discussed within Pembrokeshire’s ‘Creating and Active Wales’ working group.  A targeted approach to tackling links between poverty and participation are still to be agreed locally, but this is unanimously understood to be a focus area for targeted collaborative working.

Disappointingly Pembrokeshire was unsuccessful with numerous Sport Wales ‘Calls for Action’ applications for funding for community sports based projects in 2012.  Feedback from Sport Wales revealed that often the reason for failure to qualify for funding was the lack of impact each project would make in terms of levels of participation.  It was not deemed enough to raise participation figures by hundreds rather they needed to reach the thousands.  Many of these projects would have tackled barriers to participation such as access to facilities, inadequate facilities and lack of local opportunities. 

4)    What are the links between programmes to develop sport in Wales and other Welsh Government initiatives to increase physical activity;

Creating an active Wales, Sport Wales Local Authority Partnership Agreements & Children & Young People Partnership (core aim 4) have provided frameworks for joint working for the provision of sporting opportunities.  The NERS (GP Referral Scheme) linked to Public Health Wales has also provided direction & standard procedures for the physical activity requirements of the more sedentary population.  It is worth noting that a number of core service providers are having a direct impact on a large number of the population and whilst there is still a far too large percentage being missed (due to disengagement or other factors), the need to recognise the current impact by these needs to highlighted as the contributions being made appear to be disregarded.

5)    The impact of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy, the Ryder Cup and other high profile Welsh sporting events and achievements on participation levels in Wales.


To accurately measure the impact of the major events outlined above is difficult, although we are able to highlight 21 community sports clubs within Pembrokeshire who have successfully applied for Sport Wales Community Chest grant funding for Olympic and Paralympic legacy projects since London 2012.  The total funding allocated to these projects was £27,571.51.


The Legacy projects have resulted in the following outcomes;


-          59 newly trained volunteers,

-          8 new junior teams,

-          2 new senior teams,

-          255 new junior community sports club members,

-          52 new senior community sports club members, and

-          23 additional sessions per week.


It is also hoped that the results from the 2013 School Sport Survey will also demonstrate an upturn in club membership rates and levels of participation due to the legacy work of the Olympic and Paralympics Games.  However these statistics are dependant on another successful response to the survey from our local Primary and Secondary Schools.  Local Authority reports will not be available until October of this year. 


Golf Development Wales annual club audit figures show that there was no significant impact on golf membership rates post Ryder Cup 2010 within Pembrokeshire.  However golf development initiatives within Pembrokeshire are thriving under the coordination of our local Golf Development officer in partnership with Golf Development Wales. 


Pembrokeshire’s annual International ‘Ironman’ competition has had a tremendous impact on the number of individuals within Pembrokeshire who now participate in cycling, swimming and running.  Club membership numbers have increased by 10% for Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club whilst a new club, 5 Frogs Triathlon Club, has also been launched in the south of the county with an approximate membership base of 50.


PCC Leisure Services also co-ordinate and deliver a series of annual mini Triathlon and Duathlon events from a variety of Leisure Centres throughout the county.  An indoor School event is also set up for Autumn 2013.