Sunday, 22 November 2009

WAG proposals for more Welsh Olympic winners

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones has outlined how the recommendations of an independent review into performance and excellence of sport in Wales will be taken forward at the debate in the National Assembly.

The report, which was produced by independent consultants and published in September, made an assessment of systems and processes that to support sport at the elite level in Wales. It also looked at the pathways in place to ensure that young talent is identified and brought forward in

Alun Ffred Jones said: "Sport is very important to very many people in Wales; to a degree our sense of national well-being rises and falls with the relative successes of our sports men and women, as if sporting success is a barometer for national spirit."

"This review acknowledges, that for a country our size, we are very successful and recognises the role that the Sport Council and our national sporting governing bodies have played in achieving that success"

"We have closely examined where the report says we can improve the systems and structures that are in place to support sport at the top-level in
Wales and, working closely with the Sports Council and others, we will restate our policy and targets for elite sport in Wales in the coming months"

Philip Carling - the Chair of the Sports Council for
Wales – looks forward to raising the bar:

"In 2008, we saw notable successes at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games. And this year, we’ve seen promising performances – we’re World Champions in rugby sevens, Becky Brewerton made her second Solheim Cup appearance and Nicole Cooke won her tenth British road race title.

"And what’s even more promising is that younger athletes have made their mark this year. Swimmer Jazz Carlin and cyclist Becky James are beginning to make a name for themselves and both look set to feature at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year. It augurs well not only for London 2012 but also when the Commonwealth Games arrive in Glasgow in 2014.

"We welcome the opportunity to review the current position to ensure that investment is targeted smartly and we look forward to working with the Welsh Assembly Government to identify appropriate funding to sustain and build on our track record. It is particularly timely as the UK is attracting major sporting events – including The Ryder Cup in 2010 – and it is crucial that
Wales remains at the cutting edge of sporting excellence."


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