Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by The Sports Council for Wales


  1.  The Sports Council for Wales (SCW) has been invited to submit evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into "Wales and the World".

  2.  This paper describes the role of Welsh sports bodies and their relationships with United Kingdom counterparts.


  3.  SCW is an Assembly Sponsored Public Body (ASPB) set up by Royal Charter. Its principal role is to develop sport in Wales by:

    3.1  increasing the numbers of people participating in sport particularly children and young people; and

    3.2  raising standards of performance and excellence in Welsh sport.

  4.  Funding from the Assembly and National Lottery (under the SPORTLOT banner) enables the Council to achieve specific objectives and targets set out in its strategy, "Young People First".

  5.  Support is provided to various bodies who seek to work in partnership with SCW. The national governing bodies of sport are the principal voluntary sector partners. They organise and run both national and international sporting events. These raise the profile of Welsh sport and Wales but this is not the main aim. Funding is provided in order to achieve objectives associated with 3.2 above.


  6.  UK Sport has responsibility for:

    6.1  support of UK/GB teams and athletes;

    6.2  support of UK level events;

    6.3  international affairs and the profile of the United Kingdom abroad.

  7.   It is not the role of UK Sport to specifically promote any of the home countries. In many ways it could result in conflicts if it sought to single out a particular country to promote.

  8.  All the home country sports councils (Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland) work in close co-operation with UK Sport. People from Wales have represented the United Kingdom at various meetings, conferences and/or events.

  9.  UK Sport has established a "clearing house" type system to ensure that only one home country bids to stage an international event. This seeks to avoid public monies going to support a number of competing bids. Wales clearly does not have the economies of scale, funding or facility provision to enable it to stage the same degree of event provision as England.


  10.  Having made this point, it is important to note that Wales does have a number of world class facilities including:

    10.1  the Millennium Stadium;

    10.2  Canolfan Tryweryn—national white water canoe centre;

    10.3  Pwllheli—national competitive sailing centre;

    10.4  Celtic Manor Resort—which is seeking to host the Ryder Cup;

    10.5  Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Sophia Gardens—which has hosted one day cricket internationals;

    10.6  the Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens—which regularly hosts World and European indoor championships;

    10.7  Wales National Swimming Pool, Swansea—which is due to be completed in March 2002.


  11.  SCW is working closely with the Wales Tourist Board on the development of a golf tourism strategy. This is linked closely to the Celtic Manor's Ryder Cup bid. The latter, if successful, could have significant benefits not only in terms of the number of tourists but also for junior golf development in Wales.


  12.  Devolution is now well established within Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. National identity and its promotion are becoming more important. However, UK bodies appear to be struggling to clarify their role in promoting UK/GB or four home countries. This is more of an issue in tourism than it is in sport since the latter comprises UK or British teams.

  13.  The Committee may also wish to consider whether, in the light of devolution, Welsh bodies should have a greater role in promoting Wales abroad or whether this would simply lead to confusion and competition within the United Kingdom.

  14.  The Committee's views on these matters would be welcomed.

17 October 2000

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