Speaking at the launch of Sport Wales’s Community Strategy, which aims to increase community engagement in sport, the Minister said he hoped that the ‘real’ legacy from the London games would be a significant rise in people getting involved in sport in Wales.
Sports Minister Huw Lewis said,
“When you are involved in an event of this magnitude there is of course bound to be a great deal of rhetoric and a ‘legacy’ is mentioned a lot when any major games are brought up.
“But what really concerns me, is that when the spectacle and excitement of the games are over, that the hard work put in by so many before the games to improve the facilities, infrastructure and attitude towards sport in this country, leads to a real and tangible culture change following them.
“Wales is a sporting nation, and rightly proud of its sporting heritage and many achievements in the world of sport. It is well known that sport is a major influence on young people and having athletes of global stature training on their doorstep and living in their communities will be hugely inspirational.
“We are already looking beyond the 2012 Games to showcase the fantastic sporting facilities we have in Wales. With the 2014 Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, the Welsh Government is targeting Commonwealth countries with the intention of developing a long term relationship with them.
"We hope that many countries will return to Wales prior to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and see Wales as centre of excellence for sport.”
The Minister joined Professor Laura McAllister, the chair of Sport Wales at the launch of their community strategy, who announced that they are to invest a further £9million National Lottery funding into community sport over the next three years. In total this means that Sport Wales will be injecting a total of almost £32m a year into community sport in Wales.
The Minister for Sport, Huw Lewis said,
“Every young person should have the chance to shine and be given an opportunity to contribute positively to their community, irrespective of their circumstances. Sport can play an important role in helping young people and families to deal with and overcome difficult situations and to strive for a better future. I’m extremely hopeful that this strategy will play its part in helping to reduce and prevent poverty by reducing barriers and inequalities.”