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If you want to make a healthy sandwich don’t forget you’ll need a healthy filling!

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For my Welsh Sport_The Conversation a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.Rob Baynham, Further Education Sports Coordinator at Colleges Wales, asks whether by focussing on younger or older people we are missing "the bit in the middle".  In a conversation around the long-term vision for sport in Wales, creating sustainable change and removing barriers to participation, you could ask what this has got to do with making a healthy sandwich? The aim of this blog is to challenge everyone to think a bit more about the filling or more precisely “the bit in the middle”, in this case 16-19 year-old young people.

Many government and Sport Wales initiatives to improve physical activity focus on younger children and early years – which makes a lot of sense. Others promote subsidised or new activity for the elderly – another very credible area for development.
However, my question would be: have we previously chosen two nice slices of granary bread, some…

Them and us - Whose fault is it?

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For my Welsh Sport_The Conversation a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.Anne Adams-King, Chief Executive Officer at Welsh Cycling, believes banishing silos in organisations is key to developing a bright future for the sports sector. We often complain about a silo mentality and working in silos but are we all responsible for establishing and compounding this way of working?  We as a sector have a fragmented landscape of organisations which in most cases we cannot change, but within our own organisations we embed this culture by creating teams and departments that have different aims and who compete for resources, making internal and external collaboration limited unless it benefits those in each silo. It is very easy to slip into creating silos and then allow them to exist with different purposes or functions to the detriment of the overall organisation.
We accept that it is the role of the leaders to set the tone and values in their organisations, bu…

Acting Today – Making Digital a Priority for Sport

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For my Welsh Sport_The Conversation a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.How can the digital revolution transform sport? Time is of the essence, says Helen Humphrey, Chair of the Welsh Sports Association.  Back in November 2014, I chaired the Sport Wales Advisory Group who, in partnership with Future Foundation, produced a report, 'acting today for an active tomorrow’, looking at the consumer trends which could have a real impact on the world of sport. Over three years later, there has been little significant progress here in Wales, whilst technology moves on at a pace. A recent survey of Welsh Sports Association members showed that currently, amongst all the competing demands, digital is not a priority. But if we don’t start making big changes soon, we will get left behind.
We all know how important digital technology is and increasingly so. You’re probably sat there reading this on your tablet or smartphone, or the early adopters amongst you ma…

Let’s encourage new runners

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For my Welsh Sport_The Conversation a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.Today sees Run Wales blogger Nicola Roylance explain how running has changed her life and how the running community keep her motivated. I have been running now for about four years. I was at a very low point in my life, I’d put on a lot of weight, I wasn’t very happy and so I knew I had to do something about it. I signed myself up to the Race for Life 5k and downloaded a sofa to 5k app.
I hadn’t run for years and it was extremely hard starting from scratch. I went out on my own and prayed that no one would see me as I puffed and panted my way down the cycle path near my house. However, with the support of my husband I kept at it and eventually, albeit not in the 9 weeks allocated, I completed the 5k run.
Always one to push myself, I signed up for a 10k run and trained in the same run/walk way to increase my distance.  Time on my feet was key. But once I had completed the 10k I lo…

Act Now for the Wellbeing of Future Generations

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For my Welsh Sport_The Conversation a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.Today sees the first in a series of posts from Al Smith, Jono Byrne, Mark Upton (co-creators at myfastestmile) and Sport Wales' Owen Lewis. 
“Ghost of the Future, I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
As we approach the season of goodwill and prepare to spend some well-earned time with friends and family, it seems timely that we spare a moment to consider what we’re doing in our professional lives to provide for the wellbeing of others. In embracing the opportunity afforded by the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act we invite ourselves to be guided by future intent rather than beholden only to present successes or bound by the ways of the pa…

Putting sport on the Menu: Why sport is like Brussel Sprouts

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For my Welsh Sport_The Conversation a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.Today sees Sport Wales Senior Insight Officer Lauren Carter-Davies explain why she thinks sport is like Brussel Sprouts. Like Brussel sprouts, sport can contribute to the wellbeing of future generations, but it isn’t essential
We all know that vegetables are good for us. In particular, there are many benefits to eating Brussel sprouts. They are a good source of vitamins C and K, and have been shown to contribute to lowering cholesterol. In this way, Brussel sprouts can contribute to wellbeing, but so too can other vegetables. You could go your whole life and never eat a Brussel sprout and still have your health.
In the same way, it is well established that physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Specifically, studies have shown that participation in sport, one of several forms of physical activity, can improve physical and mental health. Therefore, can spor…

Staying active – what makes the difference?

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For My Welsh Sport_The Conversation, a range of experts share their thoughts on the future of sport in Wales.

Today sees Dr Margaret Whitehead discuss the role of physical literacy in ensuring everyone flourishes.  

What does physical literacy actually mean? Widely used in the sport sector, it goes beyond skill development. Its goal is for everyone to take responsibility for being active and that also means finding the motivation and confidence to take part in physical activities.

Skills are mainly developed as a result of well-chosen physical challenges. Motivation and confidence, on the other hand, depend on how a teacher, coach or instructor relates to an individual as a person. To successfully unlock motivation and confidence, individuals need to feel valued and be helped on their personal journey of improvement. 

In short, physical literacy can be described as: the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagi…