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Written Statement - Review of Sport Wales – An independent report

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health

I am today publishing the report of the independent panel’s review of Sport Wales:

gov.wales/topics/culture-tourism-sport/sportandactiverecreation/sport-wales

In February 2017, I invited an independent panel to examine the strategic intent, purpose and role of Sport Wales in relation to delivering a more active, healthy and successful nation, in the context of the continuing pressures on public spending budgets and the changing policy landscape. I am very grateful to members of the panel for their detailed consideration of the issues and the rigour with which they have undertaken this important piece of work.

The government will need time to properly consider the report’s findings and recommendations, and I intend to bring forward a full response to the Assembly in the autumn. The report affirms that partners value the work of Sport Wales and the clear contribution that Sport Wales makes to the development and success of the sport sector in Wales, at both an elite and community level, and sets out some of the innovative approaches being taken to drive sustainability for the sport and physical activity sector in the longer term.

The main conclusions of the review are:

  1. That the Welsh Government should develop a refreshed long term policy statement for physical activity, that clarifies the respective roles and responsibilities of Sport Wales and other delivery bodies. This will be framed by our plan for a more healthy and active Wales. , The statement will set out how all organisations involved in the promotion of health, sport and physical fitness should collaborate towards our common goals in order to deliver better outcomes for the people of Wales.
  2. Sport Wales should lead the development of a new long term strategy for sport and physical recreation in Wales that responds to the government policy. The development of the strategy should be undertaken based on the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, and should fully engage the sector and identify other public sector organisations to work in collaboration with, such as Public Health Wales.
  3. Welsh Government and Sport Wales should develop a new outcomes framework, with metrics and key performance indicators to be able to demonstrate the wider impact of sport to “Taking Wales Forward”. Sport Wales should establish a formal relationship with the HE sector to commission and disseminate research findings, provide insight into key strategic documents, and co-ordinate a research service to inform future programme and policy development.
  4. Welsh Government and Sport Wales should ensure planning and budgeting are synchronised, and that a long term budget is provided to enable long term strategic planning. The Sport Wales investment strategy and principles should be reviewed and revised to ensure there is a clear line of sight between investment and delivery. Investment decisions and evaluations should be undertaken in a transparent, open and consistent manner.
  5. Sport Wales should ensure the organisation has the right skills mix to deliver the new long-term strategy and to add value to the sector. This should include creating an environment where ideas and creativity are encouraged, actively promoted and celebrated.

Sport Wales is the Welsh Government’s key delivery body for sport and physical activity. This report will help shape its future delivery of our aspirations for a more active population. As a first step I have asked my officials to work with Sport Wales to develop a new model for community sport working with local partners to increase impact.

I wish to acknowledge the co-operation of the Board members and staff of Sport Wales with the review and thank them for their professionalism in maintaining a focus on delivery in recent months. I know that they will respond with commitment to the review’s suggestions and to the opportunity to shape a new future strategy.