Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lies die kind in progress (2)

Do you remember the Crash Test Dummies? If you do, you are sooooo old! - like me. I think, this was probably the first time, when I looked the word "dummy" up in the inter... no! back then it must have been a real physical dictionary.
So here are 4 dummies, accompanied by the original drawing for the cover of the soon-to-be-released comic-book "Lies die kind". And isn't this mangaesque misprint pretty?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All in the Game by Neil Ward

Neil Ward is Chief Executive of the Welsh Football Trust (WFT), the FAW’s registered charity set up in 1996 to encourage more people – males and female – of all ages to play football.

It is vital for us that we are able to grow the game of football in Wales and that we can cement our place as the number one participation sport.
Football should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their personal circumstances or background. That is why we are fully supportive of the work Sport Wales and Stonewall Cymru have done to raise awareness of the issues being faced by lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals wanting to participate in sport.
We have made some excellent headway recently by setting up different projects and programmes to encourage more people to play football.
Women and girls and disability football has become a particular focus. There has been successful growth in participation where we have seen a 45% (women and girls) and 42% (disability) growth in registered participants respectively since 2008.
Recently we played our first ever international game for people with learning disabilities, while it is imperative we capitalise on the opportunities to get more women and girls involved in football through the Women’s UEFA under 19’s championships being held in Wales next year.
This is the first major tournament on our doorstep and will give us a platform to put in place a lasting legacy to grow the game and get more people participating, coaching and volunteering. A particular focus will be provision for age groups at under 10 and under 8 age-groups.
The LGB research has highlighted a significant potential demand for participation in team sports and it is our responsibility to ensure that those who want to play feel comfortable to get involved in a local club.
The FAW’s ‘Behind the Line Behind the Team’ campaign – while not being a direct response to the research issues – is one way we are already looking at improving the environment at football clubs, both on the pitch and on the sidelines. We want everyone to enjoy being involved in the game of football and the campaign includes a safeguarding policy that we feel is increasingly important in today’s society, which is highlighted by this report.
There is much work to be done but I feel we are moving in the right direction.
The ‘banter’ highlighted by those questioned for this research is not something that is limited to football and is an issue for society. But we realise the responsibility we have because football has a reach into our communities that means we can highlight the issues more prominently.
I wouldn’t want anyone to be put off getting involved in football because of poor behaviour they see or perceive to be a normal part of the game.
There is no doubt we need more role models as they can help us more than anyone with the messages we are trying to get across. Professional footballers have a unique platform to talk to and communicate with the public. But I also think that this cannot be forced onto individuals to come out and speak openly if they are not comfortable in doing so.
I agree that administrators and club officials must be supported to understand the perception that some people might have about their club or the culture that might exist. Clubs exist to serve their members and the local community so it is important to lead by example and show that they are welcoming to people from all walks of life.
Finally, I just want to go back to our work on tackling work on those traditionally more excluded from football. The report highlights the pigeon holing of males and females into sports like football and rugby for boys and netball and hockey for girls.
I believe anyone still nurturing these stereotypes is well behind the times.
I still come across instances where school sport is governed by the interests of the PE staff, which should not be allowed to happen.
If anything, this report is yet another piece of evidence pointing towards the need to listen to pupils and provide them with the opportunities and environment so they take part in the sports they enjoy and want to try out.
If we don’t do this we risk losing them for good.

Friday, December 7, 2012

‘Out In Sport’ Cardiff by Jack Oakley and Cari Davies

“Out In Sport” at Cardiff began as a small, grassroots campaign by members of the student unions’ LGBT+ association during the last academic year. The aim of the campaign was to promote an inclusive sporting environment for LGB students and also to change the common perception that sports clubs are homophobic. At Cardiff, we believe that the problem isn’t that those taking part in sport are homophobic; the problem is a perception that they are, creating a barrier for LGB students who would otherwise participate. 

The campaign involved meeting with and talking to the various sports clubs at Cardiff University, raising awareness and also offering guidance where necessary. We created a video which allowed clubs to demonstrate their support for the campaign and their inclusion of all students, regardless of sexual orientation. We also worked with LGBT+ students, encouraging those who may otherwise be put off from taking part to attend LGBT+ only sport taster sessions. It allowed these students to try something new, in an environment they felt comfortable in. Many students went on to continue taking part in the sports they tried and by getting sports clubs involved in running the taster sessions, the fears of homophobic attitudes of were abated.

This year the Out in Sport campaign is set to grow even bigger with a strong partnership between the Athletic Union and the LGBT+ Officer at Cardiff University Students’ Union. We’ve already included LGBT+ awareness in compulsory sports club committee training and clubs have approached us looking for ways they can improve their own provision, with some asking for extra training on the subject.

We’re going to use both the reports from the National Union of Students and Sport Wales to shape our campaign and build a detailed action plan for the future; continuing the work from the previous year, increasing awareness on campus and getting more clubs involved.

There are some exciting plans for the campaign, including tying it into the huge event that is The Welsh Varsity, a day of competitive sport between Cardiff and Swansea University culminating in a televised rugby match in the Millennium Stadium. There will be an “Out in Sport” logo design competition, the winner’s design being printed on all supporter t-shirts and on the rugby shirts of the players from both Cardiff and Swansea. A new campaign video with input from our sports clubs will play before the game and we may even have a very special guest speaker!

One of our long term plans is building an accreditation scheme approved by the likes of Stonewall and Sport Wales, which sports clubs at Cardiff University (and perhaps beyond!) can be awarded. A club would have to meet certain criteria in order to be awarded the accreditation, including attending certain training events, being involved in raising awareness of the campaign and adopting and implementing a no tolerance policy. Not only educating those involved but also allowing LGB students to easily identify sports clubs that have actively championed a friendly and inclusive environment.
Jack Oakley LGBT+ Officer Cardiff University Students’ Union 

Cari Davies Athletic Union President Cardiff University Students’ Union

Sport's Big Society Influence by Adele Baumgardt

Adele Baumgardt is vice-chair of Sport Wales and has previously worked at the Equal Opportunities Commission. Now a self -employed consultant on all aspects of equality and diversity, Adele's experience includes delivering equality strategies in public, private and voluntary sectors with particular expertise in the new 'positive' equality duty.

The reasons why people participate in sport and get hooked on it for life are as wide and varied as people themselves. And so are the reasons why people don’t.

For many of us it is the first or most memorable experience that defines whether we will ever try to participate in any kind of activity let alone a more formalised sporting opportunity.

The research that Sport Wales have done in partnership with Stonewall Cymru has shown what  I think many of us always thought was the case, that for gay, lesbian and bi sexual people, those experiences are often profoundly negative and linked to their sexuality.

We believe in the transformational potential of sport for people, not just in terms of health outcomes but in how rich their lives can be. Sport is about activity in all its forms but it is also about who you meet, play with and socialise with around the activity.

If we have a culture in the places where sporting opportunities are offered which prevents or puts certain people off, simply because of their sexuality, at school, at the leisure centre or in a club environment, it is incumbent on all of us involved in sport to change how we deliver it.

If we truly want to see sport for all then we have to do this. And this research helps us understand what happens and what needs to be done. It is of course only the first step to both understanding and changing things, but by genuinely investigating and seeking individuals experience we have taken the first step towards understanding. Now we have to act – across the whole of the sporting community.

In my experience changing cultures is the most difficult, frustrating and time intensive work in meeting equality challenges. People’s attitudes and beliefs are profound, personal and deeply held. Beliefs and values come from school, society, media, experience, our parents and of course our sporting heroes among other things. And our behaviour is undoubtedly based on our beliefs.

Organisations display ‘group’ behaviour based on values which can be led from the top or the bottom. And it seems to me that sport has more potential than most sectors to influence what kind of a society we become. ‘Group’ behaviour is certainly more clearly and often displayed in sport than in most other environments. In many ways political correctness and equality legislation has driven discrimination ‘underground’. So if an organisation doesn’t want to employ women or black people, they don’t - but their policies and recruitment procedures won’t be explicit about that – it is the culture and beliefs of the leaders and the front line staff that create an office where women or black people are not represented and not welcome. The culture often manifests itself in the banter, humour and ‘feel’ of the organisation.

So our sporting hero’s and role models have a fantastic opportunity to influence particularly our young people on how they feel about sport and activity. How our clubs and sporting venues manage and address inappropriate behaviour matters beyond the people on the terraces.  I don’t want to take my grandchildren to a football or rugby match at a weekend where they hear regular homophobic chanting from the stands. I don’t want them to grow up thinking that that kind of behaviour or belief is what being involved with football or rugby means.

And I certainly don’t want them, or any other child in Wales to have their opportunity to participate or excel in sport dictated to by the attitude and behaviour they encounter because of their sexuality.

So I think this research is a really important step in helping us understand what causes gay, lesbian and bi sexual people to be excluded from sport for life.
All sectors across sport from clubs, governing bodies, local authorities, role models and casual spectators now all have good reason why we should challenge behaviour and tackle barriers. Challenging banter and inappropriate behaviour can be uncomfortable and difficult – but without it we won’t change culture.

Coming home from Plas Menai last week through the floods and storms meant I ended up on a train to Birmingham with some football supporters on their way to an evening match. Listening to them enthusing about sport and their knowledge of football, their teams, and technical ‘sport’ issues was inspiring. But what they all said was that no women or any of their gay friends would come to the match because they didn’t feel safe and they were able to cite several instances where verbal abuse had made their friends feel so unsafe they would never risk going to a match again.

Sporting experiences enrich all our lives. If we allow behaviour, attitudes or language to intimidate or frighten people from attending or taking part then we will continue to deliver sporting opportunities in the ways we always have to the people who have always participated. Unintentional offence or threat is no excuse and has the same effect of excluding people as deliberate ones. The solutions to challenging and changing this lies with us all – if we are brave enough to face it!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Sporting Place for All in Wales by the Ministers for Sport and Equalities

With the release of new research into gay participation in Welsh sport, Sports Minister Huw Lewis & Minister for Equalities Jane Hutt talk jointly about what it means for Wales.

We are extremely grateful to Stonewall Cymru and Sport Wales for the research they have undertaken. As this important piece of work will have implications for both of our portfolios, we, as Sports Minister and Minister for Equalities, felt that both of our voices should be heard.

The issues raised are not just for equality bodies, nor are they simply sporting issues. The challenge for the Welsh Government in increasing participation for LGB people in sport in Wales will involve both of us and we look forward to working together on this important issue.

We welcome the report launched today (Thursday 6 December), which offers a glimpse into how lesbian, gay and bisexual people living in Wales experience and view sport, and will carefully consider its recommendations.

With these two esteemed organisations working in partnership, we can be assured that all of the important issues facing LGB people in Wales in relation to sport will be considered and action will be taken.

We, the Welsh Government, have a determination and a commitment to ensure that we build a Welsh society that treats all people with dignity and respect. Whenever you access local services, for example in healthcare or housing, the last thing that should be on your mind is whether you will be treated differently because of your sexual orientation.

It is imperative that no-one be denied opportunities because of their sexual orientation and sport is no different in this respect.

Sport can bring people together; it can bind and regenerate our communities. You only need to look to the east end of London to see how much good sport can do to help to revive run-down areas.

Sport and physical activity are also vital in promoting healthy lifestyles and making people feel good about themselves, and as a nation. Regular physical activity has many benefits to health, including mental health and well-being. People who are active have up to a 50% reduced risk of developing the major chronic diseases and a 20-30% reduced risk of premature death.

It is not hard to see why we want to see a nation “hooked for life” on sport.

We want increased participation at every age, gender, and social group imaginable, including lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Increasing participation means the benefits we have already mentioned are enjoyed by more and more people, which can in turn have an incredible impact on a nation’s health, mood and prosperity.

However, if there are barriers to this uptake, then it is our job to help to remove them.

And by “our”, we mean all of us.

Homophobia has silenced lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes, coaches and fans for much of the past hundred years. While there has been some comment on the existence of homophobia in football in this country, even less comment has been made on the wider picture; which is of an environment unfortunately lagging behind the main stream.

In the last ten years we have seen new employment rights, changes to civil partnerships and adoption law and the removal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act, all of which has transformed the everyday lives of LGB people. We now have a law criminalising homophobic hatred which brings protections for LGB people in line with laws against racial and religious hatred.

Why, therefore, should this be any different in the sporting arena?

This Government is committed to tearing down the barriers to equal opportunities and building a fairer society. We are a small yet tolerant nation but for us to truly grow sport in this country we must include every part of society.

Thankfully a number of professional athletes in recent years have talked openly about their own sexual orientation and many more of their team mates and competitors feel able to speak up in support of them. It should no longer be the burden of brave athletes and role models like Nigel Owens, Gareth Thomas and Martina Navratilova to help to remove the stigma for LGB athletes and coaches. It is a job for us all.


Rydyn ni’n eithriadol ddiolchgar i Stonewall Cymru a Chwaraeon Cymru am yr ymchwil y maen nhw wedi’i wneud. Bydd y darn pwysig yma o waith yn effeithio ar bortffolios y ddau ohonom ni fel Gweinidog Chwaraeon a Gweinidog Cydraddoldeb, ac felly rydyn ni’n teimlo bod rhaid i’n lleisiau ni gael eu clywed.

Nid dim ond i gyrff cydraddoldeb y mae’r materion sydd wedi’u codi yn berthnasol, ac nid dim ond materion chwaraeon ydyn nhw chwaith. Bydd yr her i Lywodraeth Cymru o ran cynyddu cyfranogiad ymhlith pobl LHD mewn chwaraeon yng Nghymru yn cynnwys y ddau ohonom ni, ac rydyn ni’n edrych ymlaen at gydweithio ar y mater pwysig yma.      

Rydyn ni’n croesawu’r adroddiad sydd wedi’i lansio heddiw (dydd Iau 6 Rhagfyr), sy’n cynnig cipolwg ar sut mae pobl lesbiaidd, hoyw a deurywiol sy’n byw yng Nghymru yn profi ac yn gweld chwaraeon, a byddwn yn ystyried ei argymhellion yn ofalus.

Gyda’r ddau sefydliad uchel eu parch yma’n gweithio mewn partneriaeth, gallwn fod yn dawel ein meddwl y bydd y materion pwysig sy’n wynebu pobl LHD yng Nghymru mewn perthynas â chwaraeon yn cael eu hystyried ac y bydd camau gweithredu’n cael eu cymryd.

Rydyn ni yn Llywodraeth Cymru yn dangos penderfyniad ac ymrwymiad i sicrhau ein bod ni’n creu cymdeithas yng Nghymru sy’n trin pob unigolyn gydag urddas a pharch. Pa bryd bynnag y byddwch chi’n defnyddio gwasanaethau lleol, er enghraifft, gofal iechyd neu dai, y peth olaf ddylai fod ar eich meddwl chi ydi a fyddwch chi’n cael eich trin yn wahanol oherwydd eich tueddfryd rhywiol.

Mae’n hanfodol sicrhau nad oes unrhyw un yn methu manteisio ar gyfleoedd oherwydd eu tueddfryd rhywiol, ac nid yw chwaraeon yn wahanol yn y cyswllt hwn.

Mae chwaraeon yn gallu dod â phobl at ei gilydd, gan uno ac adfywio ein cymunedau ni. Does ond rhaid i ni edrych ar ddwyrain Llundain i weld faint o les mae chwaraeon yn gallu ei wneud o ran adfywio ardaloedd difreintiedig.

Hefyd mae chwaraeon a gweithgarwch corfforol yn hanfodol er mwyn hybu ffyrdd iach o fyw a gwneud i bobl deimlo’n dda amdanyn nhw eu hunain, ac fel cenedl. Mae gweithgarwch corfforol rheolaidd yn sicrhau manteision niferus i iechyd, gan gynnwys iechyd a lles y meddwl. Mae gan bobl egnïol hyd at 50% yn llai o risg o ddatblygu afiechydon cronig mawr a 20-30% yn llai o risg o farw cyn eu hamser.

’Dyw hi ddim yn anodd deall pam ein bod ni eisiau sefydlu cenedl sydd wedi “gwirioni am oes” ar chwaraeon.

Rydyn ni eisiau gweld mwy o gymryd rhan ym mhob grŵp oedran, rhyw a chymdeithasol posib, gan gynnwys pobl lesbiaidd, hoyw a deurywiol.         

Mae cynyddu cyfranogiad yn golygu bod y manteision yr ydyn ni wedi’u crybwyll eisoes yn cael eu mwynhau gan fwy a mwy o bobl ac, yn ei dro, gall hynny gael effaith aruthrol ar iechyd, agwedd a ffyniant y genedl.  

Er hynny, os oes rhwystrau’n atal y cymryd rhan yma, yna ein gwaith ni yw helpu i’w goresgyn nhw.
Ac wrth gyfeirio at “ni”, rydyn ni’n golygu pob un ohonom ni.

Mae homoffobia wedi cadw athletwyr, hyfforddwyr a chefnogwyr lesbiaidd, hoyw a deurywiol yn dawel am y can mlynedd diwethaf fwy neu lai. Er bod rhywfaint o gyfeirio wedi bod at fodolaeth homoffobia mewn pêl droed yn y wlad hon, does dim llawer o sôn wedi bod am y darlun ehangach; sef o amgylchedd sydd ar ei hôl hi o gymharu â’r brif ffrwd yn anffodus.

Yn ystod y deng mlynedd diwethaf, rydyn ni wedi gweld hawliau cyflogaeth newydd, newidiadau i gyfraith partneriaethau sifil a mabwysiadu a dileu Adran 28 o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Leol, ac mae’r camau hyn i gyd wedi trawsnewid bywydau pobl LHD. Bellach mae gennym ni gyfraith sy’n golygu bod casineb homoffobig yn drosedd, gan sicrhau gwarchodaeth i bobl LHD yn unol â’r deddfau yn erbyn casineb hiliol a chrefyddol.         

Pam, felly, ddylai hyn fod yn wahanol yn yr arena chwaraeon?      

Mae’r Llywodraeth hon wedi ymrwymo i oresgyn y rhwystrau sy’n atal cyfleoedd cyfartal ac i greu cymdeithas deg. Rydyn ni’n genedl fechan ond goddefgar, ac er mwyn i ni allu mynd ati o ddifrif i ddatblygu chwaraeon yn y wlad hon, mae’n rhaid i ni gynnwys pob rhan o gymdeithas.

Testun diolch yw’r ffaith bod nifer o athletwyr proffesiynol wedi siarad yn agored yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf am eu tueddfryd rhywiol eu hunain, a bod llawer o’u cyd-chwaraewyr a’u cyd-gystadleuwyr wedi teimlo eu bod yn gallu lleisio eu barn i’w cefnogi nhw. Ni ddylai fod yn faich bellach ar athletwyr dewr a modelau rôl fel Nigel Owens, Gareth Thomas a Martina Navratilova i helpu gyda chael gwared ar y stigma y mae athletwyr a hyfforddwyr LHD yn ei wynebu. Mae’n gyfrifoldeb arnom ni i gyd i wneud hynny.

All in Sport Together by Professor Laura McAllister

A former Welsh football international herself, in her latest blog, Professor Laura McAllister adds her weight to the importance of tackling homophopia in sport in the quest to get people playing.

We all know that sport has the power to truly enrich people’s lives; from benefiting health and wellbeing through to promoting social and community cohesion and enhancing educational attainment. At Sport Wales, we’ve made genuine commitments to making sport something that all people in our nation can enjoy.
When we say ‘all’, we mean ‘all’; regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion or disability; and we’re acutely aware that we need to understand how the diverse range of communities in Wales currently experience, and want to experience, sport in order to achieve that ambitious aspiration.
Through ground-breaking, new research, conducted in partnership with Stonewall Cymru, we have done just that for the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities in Wales, and whilst the results encouragingly show that there is a high demand for sporting and volunteering opportunities amongst the respondents, the research has also highlighted that those same individuals are being turned off sport, believing it can be an unwelcoming and unsafe environment for gay people.
Some lesbian participants perceived some women’s team sports to be quite ‘gay-friendly’, but many gay male participants suggested that they are doubly excluded from team sports: firstly because of their sexual orientation; and secondly because they feel that they lack the basic skills that some of their straight peers have.
Let’s be clear; homophobia in sport is completely unacceptable, and from schools through to community and professional sport, participants, coaches and spectators, the sector needs look at itself and see if there is more we can all do to ensure there is a warm welcome for all. We’re under no illusions that the sport sector alone can change the opinions and beliefs of every person involved in sport in Wales – but as a modern, go ahead sector, we can make a commitment to make sport inclusive and welcoming. We can think about our own behaviour, and when appropriate, challenge the behaviour of others where it falls short .
This isn’t necessarily about creating exclusive clubs and opportunities for the LGB community; 72% of those asked said they would be more likely to participate in a club if it was marketed as LGB friendly and organised its activities on this basis. That sends a strong message to the sector; there is a captive audience wanting to engage with sport and we need to do all we can to visibly demonstrate a commitment to encouraging them to join us in our ambitions for Welsh sport.
We’ve been very vocal about the need for young people to have a positive experience of sport at the earliest possible age, and the importance of that has been reiterated in this research.
Whether through gendered teaching and activities or teacher behaviour, the results show that school sport has played a role in turning gay men, in particular, off sport and their negative experience of school sport has impacted their views of sport into adulthood.
The school environment can be a difficult place for young people and LGB pupils can often be the target of abuse and exclusion, like many others when it comes to competitive school sport especially. PE lessons and sport in and outside schools needs to be varied and inclusive, competitive and non-competitive.
The education sector has a huge role to play in breaking down the stereotypes, which are often the root of the problem, by offering a more diverse experience of sport at a young age.
Thankfully, gone are the days when girls would only play netball, hockey and gymnastics whilst boys did football and rugby. With the introduction of 5x60 and the Young Ambassador programme, pupils are now being listened to and there are a much wider variety of extracurricular sports and activities on offer for them to participate in; that now needs to be reflected within the curriculum.  Schools need to identify the issues, arm the PE and schools sport providers with the tools to identify and challenge homophobic bullying in a sport setting and promote a positive social environment, where any boy opting for dance or gymnastics over rugby, for example, is accepted and supported.
There is also a responsibility for the national governing bodies of sport (NGBs) to visibly demonstrate their commitment to tackling homophobia in sport, and in encouraging LGB people to engage with them. Whether through the training and development of stewards to identify and challenge homophobic abuse, through their work with the media in improving the coverage of LGB issues in sport, or supporting players who want to come out and challenge abuse or discrimination. 
The research has certainly identified many challenges for the sport sector and we’re committed to supporting NGBs, clubs and schools in their quest to make sport a space where all people feel confident, safe and able to be themselves.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to spend time considering how some citizens or groups might be attracted and then retained in sport s participants, coaches and volunteers. After all, sport belongs to us all. But for now, it is important that we open our eyes to ‘banter’ and behaviour that might put off some young people from joining us and stall our ambition of getting every child hooked on sport for life.
Rydyn ni i gyd yn gwybod bod gan chwaraeon y pŵer i wirioneddol gyfoethogi bywydau pobl; o sichrau manteision i iechyd a lles i hybu cydlyniant cymdeithasol a chymunedol a gwella cyflawniadau addysgol. Yn Chwaraeon Cymru, rydyn ni wedi gwneud ymrwymiad didwyll i sicrhau bod chwaraeon yn rhywbeth y gall pawb yn ein gwlad ni ei fwynhau.
A phan rydyn ni’n dweud ‘pawb’, rydyn ni’n golygu ‘pawb’, waeth beth yw eu hoedran, eu rhyw, eu rhywioldeb, eu hethnigrwydd, eu crefydd neu eu hanabledd; ac rydyn ni’n hynod ymwybodol bod rhaid i ni ddeall sut mae’r ystod amrywiol o gymunedau yng Nghymru’n profi chwaraeon ar hyn o bryd, ac eisiau profi chwaraeon, er mwyn cyflawni’r dyhead uchelgeisiol hwnnw.
Drwy waith ymchwil arloesol a newydd, a gynhaliwyd mewn partnership â Stonewall Cymru, rydyn ni wedi gwneud yn union hynny ar gyfer cymunedau lesbiaidd, hoyw a deurywiol yng Nghymru, ac er bod y canlyniadau, yn galonogol, yn datgelu bod galw mawr am gyfleoedd chwaraeon a gwirfoddoli ymhlith yr ymatebwyr, mae’r ymchwil wedi tynnu sylw hefyd at y ffaith bod yr unigolion hyn yn troi eu cefn ar chwaraeon, gan gredu ei fod yn amgylchedd sy’n gallu bod yn anghroesawgar a pheryglus i bobl hoyw.
Dywedodd rhai cyfranogwyr lesbiaidd bod rhai chwaraeon tîm i ferched yn eithaf ‘hoyw-gyfeillgar’, ond awgrymodd nifer o gyfranogwyr gwrywaidd hoyw eu bod yn cael eu heithrio o chwaraeon tîm am ddau reswm: yn gyntaf, oherwydd eu tueddfryd rhywiol ac, yn ail, oherwydd eu bod yn teimlo nad oes ganddynt y sgiliau sylfaenol y mae eu cyfoedion nad ydynt yn hoyw wedi’u meithrin. 
Gadewch i ni fod yn glir; mae homoffobia mewn chwaraeon yn gwbl annerbyniol, ac o ysgolion drwodd i chwaraeon cymunedol a phroffesiynol, ymhlith cyfranogwyr, hyfforddwyr a gwylwyr, mae’n rhaid i’r sector edrych arno’i hun a cheisio gweld beth mwy y gallwn ni i gyd ei wneud er mwyn sicrhau bod croeso cynnes i bawb. Dydyn ni ddim yn credu am eiliad bod posib i’r sector chwaraeon ar ei ben ei hun newid safbwyntiau a chredoau pob person sy’n ymwneud â chwaraeon yng Nghymru – ond fel sector modern, blaengar, gallwn wneud ymrwymiad i sicrhau bod chwaraeon yn gynhwysol ac yn groesawgar. Gallwn feddwl am ein hymddygiad ni ein hunain a, phan fo hynny’n briodol, herio ymddygiad eraill pan nad yw’n dderbyniol

Dydi hyn o angenrheidrwydd ddim yn golygu bod rhaid creu clybiau a chyfleoedd arbennig ar gyfer y gymuned LHD yn unig; dywedodd  72% o’r rhai a holwyd y byddent yn fwy tebygol o gymryd rhan mewn clwb pe bai’n cael ei farchnata fel clwb cyfeillgar i bobl LHD a phe bai’n trefnu ei weithgareddau ar y sail yma. Mae hynny’n cyfleu neges gref i’r sector, sef bod gennym ni gynulleidfa barod sydd eisiau cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon a bod rhaid i ni wneud popeth o fewn ein gallu i ddangos ymrwymiad clir i’w hannog i ymuno â ni yn ein huchelgais ar gyfer chwaraeon yng Nghymru.                        
Rydyn ni wedi lleisio ein barn yn glir am yr angen am i bobl ifanc gael profiadau cadarnhaol o chwaraeon o’r oedran ieuengaf posib, ac mae pwysigrwydd hynny wedi cael ei ailadrodd yn y gwaith ymchwil yma.
Boed drwy addysgu a gweithgareddau seiliedig ar eu rhyw, neu ymddygiad athrawon, mae’r canlyniadau’n dangos bod chwaraeon ysgol wedi chwarae rhan bwysig iawn mewn gwneud i ddynion hoyw yn arbennig droi eu cefn ar chwaraeon. Hefyd, mae eu profiadau negyddol o chwaraeon ysgol wedi cael effaith ar eu safbwyntiau am chwaraeon pan maent yn oedolion.
Gall amgylchedd yr ysgol fod yn lle anodd i bobl ifanc a gall disgyblion LHD fod yn darged yn aml i gael eu cam-drin a’u heithrio fel nifer o ddisgyblion eraill, mewn chwaraeon ysgol cystadleuol yn enwedig. Mae’n rhaid i wersi AG a chwaraeon y tu mewn a’r tu allan i ysgolion fod yn amrywiol ac yn gynhwysol, yn gystadleuol a heb gynnwys unrhyw elfen o gystadlu.
Mae gan y sector addysg ran enfawr i’w chwarae mewn cael gwared ar stereoteipiau, sydd wrth wraidd y broblem yn aml, drwy gynnig profiadau mwy amrywiol o chwaraeon o oedran ifanc.            
Diolch byth, mae’r dyddiau pan oedd merched ond yn chwarae pêl rwyd, hoci a gymnasteg a’r bechgyn ond yn chwarae pêl droed a rygbi wedi hen fynd. Gyda chyflwyno rhaglen 5x60 a chynllun y Llysgenhadon Ifanc, mae llais y disgyblion yn cael ei glywed yn awr ac mae amrywiaeth llawer ehangach o chwaraeon a gweithgareddau allgyrsiol yn cael eu cynnig iddynt. Mae’n rhaid adlewyrchu hynny yn y cwricwlwm yn awr. Mae’n rhaid i ysgolion adnabod y problemau ac arfogi’r darparwyr AG a chwaraeon ysgol ag adnoddau i adnabod a herio bwlio homoffobig mewn unrhyw sefyllfa chwaraeon. Rhaid mynd ati i hybu amgylchedd cymdeithasol cadarnhaol, ble mae unrhyw fachgen sy’n dewis dawns neu gymnasteg yn lle rygbi, er enghraifft, yn cael ei dderbyn a’i gefnogi.
Mae gan y cyrff rheoli cenedlaethol gyfrifoldeb hefyd i ddangos yn gwbl glir eu hymrwymiad i fynd i’r afael â homoffobia mewn chwaraeon ac annog pobl LHD i weithio gyda nhw. Gall hynny ddigwydd drwy hyfforddi a datblygu stiwardiaid i adnabod a herio cam-drin homoffobig, drwy eu gwaith gyda’r cyfryngau er mwyn gwella’r sylw sy’n cael ei roi i faterion LHD mewn chwaraeon, neu drwy gefnogi chwaraewyr sydd eisiau dweud eu bod yn hoyw a herio cam-drin neu wahaniaethu. 
Mae’r gwaith ymchwil wedi tynnu sylw at sawl her, yn sicr, ar gyfer y sector chwaraeon, ac rydyn ni wedi ymrwymo i gefnogi cyrff rheoli chwaraeon, clybiau ac ysgolion yn eu hymgais i wneud chwaraeon yn amgylchedd y mae pobl yn teimlo’n hyderus ac yn ddiogel ynddo, a hefyd amgylchedd y maent yn gallu bod yn nhw eu hunain ynddo.
Mewn byd delfrydol, ni fyddai’n rhaid i ni dreulio amser yn ystyried sut mae denu rhai dinasyddion neu grwpiau at chwaraeon fel cyfranogwyr, hyfforddwyr a gwirfoddolwyr, a’u cadw’n cymryd rhan. Wedi’r cyfan, mae chwaraeon yn perthyn i ni i gyd. Ond, am nawr, mae’n bwysig ein bod ni’n agor ein llygaid i’r ‘tynnu coes’ a’r ymddygiad sy’n gwneud i rai pobl ifanc droi eu cefn a pheidio ag ymuno â ni, gan arwain at oedi gyda chyflawni ein huchelgais o gael pob plentyn i wirioni ar chwaraeon am oes.

His View in Sport by Rugby Ref Nigel Owens

Nigel Owens is a Welsh international rugby union referee. He is an international and Heineken Cup referee and was the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, as well as the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Sport has always been instrumental in my life, not only because it’s my career but because of my passion for rugby, so making the decision to be honest with myself, and with other people, about my sexuality was not one that I took lightly.
Naturally, I was concerned about how people would view me, especially within the macho rugby community. Would it jeopardise my career? Would I be accepted? But when I came out, it took a lot of weight off my shoulders and my career as a referee went from strength to strength. I was happy and I could be myself. Everyone’s been supportive, from the older generation through to the younger players. I was gay, and it made no difference to my ability as a referee, or to what people thought of me.
Acceptance is the key word for me, not only, lesbian or gay individuals accepting who they are and coming to terms with that, but also encouraging society to accept that everybody is different. If you are a talented rugby player, a skilful gymnast or a good footballer, then it doesn’t matter about your sexuality, your beliefs, your race; it is safe to be who you are in today’s society and there are a lot of people going through the same thing.
The problem with stereotypes is a deep rooted one. I’ve been to schools to talk about bullying and homophobia and one visit will always stick in my mind. Before I arrived, the pupils had been doing workshops and were asked, ‘what would you do if your friend was gay?’ Two boys in the class said they wouldn’t be friends with them anymore. After my session, both of those pupils came over and asked to have their photographs taken with me. I was later told that when asked why they did that after saying they didn’t want to be friends with someone who was gay, they responded ‘Well, if Nigel Owens is the I guess its ok to be gay.’
People at home see these stereotyped characters of gay people that are camp and very funny and assume that’s what every gay person is like. It doesn’t occur to them that somebody exactly the same as them would be gay. With my role as a referee in the public eye, and with Gareth Thomas as a former rugby player, we’re living proof that those stereotypes aren’t always a true reflection. We have shown that it can be done, that you can be whoever you want to be in your chosen field and that people will accept and support you.
Sport Wales and Stonewall Cymru’s research has shown that there’s a perception that sport can be unwelcoming. When dealing with sexuality it is very different to something like bullying. Sexuality is something that people hide; it doesn’t involve other people, so until a situation occurs where someone experiences homophobic bullying within a club or sport setting it won’t necessarily have been apparent that those perceptions exist.
Now that some of these issues have been highlighted, it’s important that sports organisations demonstrate their openness and willingness to welcome everyone into sport. That’s not to say they’re not already supportive and there for people to turn to, I’ve had nothing but support, it’s about them being more vocal about it.
The message coming from the sporting sector is very clear, and that is that everyone should feel able to participate in sport. By sports visibly committing to tackling homophobia it can only reassure people that they will be welcomed and accepted; no matter what.
For more vist,-gay-and-bisexual-participation-in-sport.aspx

Mae chwaraeon wedi bod yn rhan gwbl allweddol o fy mywyd i erioed, nid yn unig am mai dyma yw fy ngyrfa i, ond oherwydd fy angerdd i dros rygbi. Felly, roedd gwneud y penderfyniad i fod yn onest gyda fi fy hun, a gyda phobl eraill, am fy rhywioldeb, yn un anodd iawn, iawn i mi.    
Yn naturiol, roeddwn i’n poeni am sut byddai pobl yn edrych arna’ i, yn enwedig yn y gymuned rygbi  macho. A fyddai’n peryglu fy ngyrfa i? ’Fyddwn i’n cael fy nerbyn? Ond pan ddes i mas, roedd e’n teimlo fel tynnu pwysau enfawr oddi ar fy ysgwyddau i, ac fe aeth fy ngyrfa i fel dyfarnwr o nerth i nerth. Roeddwn i’n hapus ’mod i’n cael bod yn fi’n hunan. Mae pawb wedi bod mor gefnogol, o’r genhedlaeth hŷn drwodd i’r chwaraewyr iau. Roeddwn i’n hoyw, a doedd hynny ddim yn gwneud unrhyw wahaniaeth i fy ngallu i fel dyfarnwr, nag i beth roedd pobl yn ei feddwl ohono i.
Derbyn yw’r gair allweddol i mi, nid dim ond unigolion lesbiaidd neu hoyw yn derbyn pwy ydyn nhw ac yn dod i delerau â hynny, ond hefyd annog cymdeithas i dderbyn bod pawb yn wahanol. Os ydych chi’n chwaraewr rygbi talentog, yn gymnast medrus neu’n bêl droediwr da, yna does dim ots am eich rhywioldeb chi, na’ch credoau chi na’ch hil chi; mae’n ddiogel i chi fod yn pwy ydych chi yn ein cymdeithas ni heddiw ac mae llawer o bobl yn mynd drwy’r un peth.     
Mae’r broblem gyda stereoteipiau yn un sydd wedi bwrw gwreiddiau dwfn. Rydw i wedi bod mewn ysgolion yn siarad am fwlio a homoffobia ac mae un ymweliad yn aros yn fy nghof i o hyd. Cyn i mi gyrraedd yr ysgol, roedd y disgyblion wedi bod yn cymryd rhan mewn gweithdai ac un cwestiwn oedd wedi cael ei holi oedd, ‘beth fyddet ti’n ei wneud pe bai dy ffrind di’n hoyw?’ Dywedodd dau o fechgyn yn y dosbarth na fyddent yn ffrindiau gyda’r unigolyn hwnnw wedyn. Ar ôl fy sesiwn i, daeth y ddau ddisgybl yma ata’ i gan ofyn a fydden nhw’n cael tynnu eu llun gyda mi. Dywedwyd wrthyf i wedyn bod y bechgyn wedi cael eu holi pam eu bod eisiau cael tynnu eu llun gyda mi, ar ôl dweud nad oeddent eisiau bod yn ffrindiau gyda rhywun hoyw. Eu hateb oedd, ‘Wel, os yw Nigel Owens yn hoyw, yna mae’n debyg bod hi’n iawn bod yn hoyw.’
Mae pobl gartref yn gweld y cymeriadau stereoteip yma o ddynion hoyw sy’n fenywaidd iawn ac yn ddoniol iawn ac maen nhw’n cymryd yn ganiataol mai felly mae pob person hoyw. Dydyn nhw ddim yn meddwl bod posib i rywun sydd yn union yr un fath â nhw fod yn hoyw. Gan fod fy rôl i fel dyfarnwr yn llygad y cyhoedd, a hefyd Gareth Thomas fel cyn-chwaraewr rygbi, rydyn ni’n dyst i’r ffaith nad yw’r stereoteipiau hyn bob amser yn adlewyrchiad cywir. Rydyn ni wedi dangos bod posib ei wneud e, a bod posib i chi fod yn pwy bynnag rydych chi moyn bod yn y maes rydych chi wedi’i ddewis, ac y bydd pobl yn eich derbyn chi ac yn eich cefnogi chi.
Mae gwaith ymchwil Chwaraeon Cymru a Stonewall Cymru wedi dangos bod rhai pobl yn teimlo bod chwaraeon yn gallu bod yn amgylchedd anghroesawgar. Wrth ddelio â rhywioldeb, mae’n wahanol iawn i rywbeth fel bwlio. Mae rhywioldeb yn rhywbeth y mae pobl yn ei guddio; dyw e ddim yn cynnwys pobl eraill. Felly, nes bod sefyllfa’n codi ble mae rhywun yn profi bwlio homoffobig mewn clwb neu sefyllfa chwaraeon, ni fydd y teimladau hynny o ddiffyg croeso wedi dod i’r amlwg o angenrheidrwydd.                          
Nawr bod rhai o’r problemau wedi cael sylw yn y gwaith ymchwil yma, mae’n bwysig bod sefydliadau chwaraeon yn dangos eu parodrwydd i groesawu pawb i’r byd chwaraeon gyda breichiau agored. Ond cofiwch, nid dweud ydw i nad ydyn nhw’n gefnogol eisoes, neu ddim ar gael i bobl droi atyn nhw; rydw i wedi cael cefnogaeth lwyr, ond mae’n rhaid iddyn nhw fod yn fwy cyhoeddus ynghylch y peth.
Mae neges y sector chwaraeon yn un glir iawn, sef y dylai pawb deimlo eu bod yn gallu cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon. Os bydd chwaraeon yn ymrwymo’n gyhoeddus i fynd i’r afael â homoffobia, bydd hynny’n rhoi sicrwydd i bobl y byddant yn cael eu croesawu a’u derbyn; waeth beth yw eu sefyllfa.               

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Range and Targets by Rob Riddett

“How do you like your range grass cut John; stripes up and down...or stripes across?”

Here, Rob Riddett the National Small Bore Coach for the Welsh Target Shooting Fereation describes how a dream of a new 50m shooting range turned into reality.

In July 2011, Welsh High Performance Manager John Dallimore was asked at a planning meeting what Sport Wales could do to help Welsh shooting develop following its promotion to a category ‘A’ sport. ‘You could build us a training range out there’ said John half jokingly, pointing out of the window to a patch of ground besides the Sport Wales National Centre car park and behind the ‘Mochyn Du’ pub. The reply?

‘......Hmm, we’ll see what we can do; leave it with us’...stunned silence!

A few weeks later following a review of available space, an area approximately 70m x 10m was identified on a football training pitch adjacent to the Glamorgan County Cricket SWALEC Stadium. A full competition standard range was neither feasible nor desirable on sustainability and usage grounds so the plan was for a heated 6 firing point 50m training range with full electronic targets and batch testing facilities. The ground available meant that the range would be situated in the dead ball area beyond the touch line bounded on one side by a fence and dense conifer hedge alongside an important access road and on the other, the pitch - approximately 200m from the nearest houses. As the pitch pointed approximately northwards, the site was ideal.

Let's build a range here?

I have to admit here that having seen the space when we were marking it out,. This was going to be unlike any range I had ever even envisaged let alone shot on!

Chris Meredith an architect and member of Torfaen Rifle Club was asked, and agreed, to draw up suitable plans and oversee the project. In line with the Welsh Assembly Governments goal to fully supportallWelsh sports and make Wales a force in the international arena, and coupled with the realisation that smallbore rifle was one of the few Olympic sports which Wales was unable to provide facilities for visiting teams on holding camps, funding was agreed and put in place.The willingness to support and provide this level of funding was refreshing and exciting to say the leastbut compared with many of the facilities for other ‘category A’ sports such as cycling, swimming and athletics,the amount needed was relatively small; but an enormous and well received boost for our national squad!

A preliminary assessment visit by Ali Aitkin of the NSRA proved very encouraging and he could see no reason why a ‘no-danger’ range should not be sighted on the proposed area. Nick Lia of SWNC worked tremendously hard with John and Martin Watkins (WTSF Chairman) driving the project forward and maintaining momentum; nothing was too much trouble and he was an almost daily visitor on site to check on progress. Planning permission was sought which some of us, from previous attempts at range provision, thought might have been the final insurmountable hurdle. However, having got this far, confidence remained cautiously high especially as we were fully supported by Sport Wales as well as by the local Assembly Member and the Minister for Sport.

There were few formal objections in writing to Cardiff County Council however one local resident assumed we would be shooting at steel plate falling targets and he thought that this might be very noisy and not ‘in keeping’ with the sporting usage of the parkland! An open public meeting held in a local church hall nearby and was reasonably attended. Once again, Sport Wales in the guise of Malcolm Zaple did a magnificent job for us calming any fears about visual impact, noise while fending off prejudices against guns and shooting in a calm, well informed and friendly manner. Those local residents with lasting fears were invited to attend an air training and sports science session the following week to see who we were and what we did as a sport.

Helen Warnes, one of our elite athletes, was receiving sports science support and taking part in air rifle training on the day the one resident who took up our offer came to visit. This residentwas so impressed by the professionalism of all involved and the obvious fact that shooting was a serious sport on a par with any other she had experienced that on leaving, she actually asked was there any form of document that she could complete and send to Cardiff County Council to support our application; and this was from someone initially opposed to the development!

No other serious or valid objection was lodged in the time allowed so on to the next stage; sanction of planning permission. The planning committees only meet monthly so another nail biting wait.However, permission was granted without any real difficulty save one or two amendments to building materials usage and colour schemes but this mostly aesthetic in order to reduce visual impact and fit in with the listed status of the parkland.

All of the sports facilities in this part of Cardiff are built on land granted in perpetuity in 1947 by the 5th Marquess of Bute ‘for the leisure and enjoyment of the people of the Cardiff’ and as such is designated as Grade 2 listed parkland. This in itself necessitated sanction by CADW, the Welsh Government's
historic environment service but bearing in mind the enormity of the SWALEC stadium it would hardly have been equitable to decline our small facility; they didn’t so we were on our way...once Planning had approved the alterations and the revised building materials, actual examples of which had to be submitted for inspection. The range had to be as unobtrusive as possible with specific wood effectcladding and correct shades of green used for the firing point building and the butts wall. As one can see from the photographs, it all blends pretty well into the hedge-line.

In March, after what seemed like a rather long delay, the time lapse was queried. The reply? “I’m very busy with other reports at the moment, is there a rush for this?”err the Olympics in August? Visiting teams possibly needing training facilities?...things started moving again.

In the meantime we turned our attention to range equipment. While we have a generous allocation of Megalink air and cartridge units now, it was decided to purchase Sius targets for the new range. Megalink’s are portable and great for occasional short term training at home venues by individual squad members but as most major competition venues are equipped with Sius, then that was to be our system of choice in order to prepare out athletes with the best equipment available. As noise had been initially perceived as a possible problem, the new silica-bead filled bullets catchers from Meyton which we had seen at ISAS Dortmund seemed the quietest option and potentially the cleanest; no clanging steel plates and fragmented lead bullets. Orders were placed and all the kit was in store and ready for the final inspection and hopefully the issue of a Range Safety Certificate.

Things moved again and in April 2012 ground works commenced.The estimated ‘build time’ was 6 – 8 weeks. The simplicity of build i.e. one large wall, a slab of concrete for the firing point / prep area and
construction and 50m of fencing meant that work progressed rapidly. There were few problems beyond those usually encountered in most construction jobs and nothing that a bit of re-measuring and adjustment couldn’t solve.

Inspection time

The firing point and preparation area with electric roller shutter security and protection

Finally on 27th June 2012 we had another visit from Ali who thankfully was able to fit us in to his extremely busy pre Olympic schedule for which we were extremely grateful. John, Dave Phelps and I set up a couple of Megalinks primarily for the inspection but also to check heights and distances. WTSF Chairman Martin Watkins, the builder Andy Ward of Coronation Construction and Nick Lia of SWNC joined us while Ali carried out his review of the facility. All went well and very few questions needed to be answered, such was the quality of the design and the build. All was well and other than a minor query as to angles of elevation for shooting prone (either from tables or the floor) approval was granted and the certificate duly issued in Mid July. Now we were nearly there, next came the installation of targets.

The frames for the targets and bullet catchers needed a bit of 'tweaking' and Rob Warnes, our invaluable tech support spent hours checking and setting up the target hardware and understanding the more complex side of integrating the units. Final set up testing took place on 21st July with live rounds fired to test the targets. As I'd been shooting league cards in the morning and had my kit with me, I got to fire the first rounds on our pristine range; well someone had to make sure the targets worked ok!

Apart from one minor, but time consuming hiccup which was solved by 'phoning Michael from Sius at the Olympic range in London, by the end of the day the range was daisy chained and working perfectly. Without Rob we would have been floundering as, if it isn't 'plug and play' then most of us wouldn't have had much of clue. Building on his now expert knowledge of our Megalinks it is planned to sent Rob on a Sius training course in the near future which will help get both maximum benefit out of the system and also longevity of use.

As can be seen from the photographs, the ‘footprint’ of the range is minimal and one wonders how many clubs and associations around the country looking to establish a small outdoor facility could use this example to support an application? It looked a bit of a leap of faith at the outset but it has convinced me that we don’t need out of the way places with miles of open ground or quarries hidden away from public for our ranges; this one is situated literally 10 minutes walk from the centre of the capital of Wales next to a major cricket ground and at the home of Welsh sporting excellence!

One of the few conditions of planning permission was that use of this range is limited to Welsh Squad members between the hours of 0900 and 1800 (or dusk) and when in use, the pitch facilities are not
available to other sports making the area secure and safe. When it is seen how well this works then who is to say what is possible in the future.

Blending in – view from the football pitch with the SWALEC Stadium just visible in the trees

Ali was very impressed with the quality use of space and the final ‘product’ which has come in on time and within budget; as was the builder Andy whose first rifle range this is. It is possible that this design could be used for other facilities around the country where space is at a premium. Considering its location and size, this is a pretty unique range but it would be nice to think that it could become the norm.

So thanks to the hard work of John, Martin, Rob, Nic and the SWNC team and ‘Team Wales’ our High Performance cartridge and talented athletes now have and state of the art, full electronic training range with heated firing point and preparation area. All of this is within easy access of our Sports Science support team, our air training facility in the National sports centre with ample parking and all in the heart of the capital city of Wales

Oh yes, I almost forgot, the 'Stripes up and down or stripes across' bit? That was John the groundsman's first question when the inspection was complete and he needed to give the grass a bit of a trim. Apparently archers aren't keen lines up and down as it can draw the shot if the lines are not straight so he just needed to make sure rifle shooters didn't have the same requirements; now that's quality Sport Wales service for you!
If any Clubs or Associations out there have any questions or queries regarding the building of this facility then Welsh Shooting will be more than happy to supply information about the process and also, why not come and visit us sometime and see for yourself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

London poem

The rain-soaked hem of a burkha...

A prophet with megaphone in the pedestrian precinct.
A market crier tries to drown him out.
In the tube a girl put's her make-up on, mirroring in the window.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Skateboard and Fingerboard Products!

We have TONS of new stuff this week so we'll try to get them all up as soon as we can.

Blackriver Fingerboard Trucks @ $100 a set
- Super Silver Wide 2.0
-Jack Black Wide 2.0
-Big Mellow Wide 2.0
-Bright White Wide 2.0
-Rad Red
-True Blue
-Jack Black
-Mellow Yellow
-Super Silver
-Bright White

Blackriver Fingerboard Wide Low Shape @ $70 each
-Pornstorm Butz
-Wrinkler Sun
-Harrier Foid
-Flatface Zeph
-Flatface Jay
-Wood Wars

Blackriver Fingerboard Wide Shape @ $70 each
-Tongui Zombie
-Tongui Krake
-BRR Classic Skull

Blackriver Fingerboard Ramps
-Pornstorm Plaza @ $160 each
-Double Staircase Red @ $160 each
-D-Rex Ledge @ $160 each
-Funbox Kink Rail @ $160 each
-Pole Square red @ $40 each
-Pole Round Red @ $40 each
-Iron up Kink @ $48 each
-Iron up Square @ $48 each
-Iron Bike Rack @ $52 each
-Iron Round Low @ $45 each
-Iron Square @ $45 each
-Iron Shotgun @ $48 each
-Iron L Style Left @ $56 each
-Street bench @ 52 each
-Bench @ $35 each
-Box1 @ $35 each
-Box2 @ $46 eacg
-Box3 @ $43 each
-Mini Table @ $45 each
-Table @ $52 each
-Box7 @ $48 each

Fingerboard Magazine @ $10 each
TKY Bushings @ $17 each
First Aid bushings @ $17 each
First Aid Screws @ $9 each
First Aid Lock Nuts @ $25 each
First Aid bushings Uldimate Pack @ $35 each
Flashbone Camo Bag @ $70 each
Pissing Fingers DVD @ $30 each
Riptape Classic @ $17 each

Monday, November 19, 2012

The future of Coaching and Volunteering, by Professor Laura McAllister

In her latest blog, Professor Laura McAllister sets out the reasons why developing the coaching and volunteering workforce must be placed at the heart of sports planning in Wales. Yn ei blog diweddaraf, mae’r Athro Laura McAllister yn datgan y rhesymau dros fod angen gosod y gwaith o ddatblygu’r gweithlu hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli wrth galon y cynlluniau chwaraeon yng Nghymru.

I am always very excited at the prospect of the Sport Wales Coach of the Year Awards and hearing the fascinating, inspiring and motivating stories about people who are, quite frankly, the backbone of Welsh sport. Coaches and volunteers deserve every recognition they get.
I know they don’t seek out attention for what they do and the time they spend on sport but, there is no doubt in my mind, they more than deserve their moment of glory.
What a year it has been for Welsh and British sport! One that will go down in history as inspiring a generation.
But in the spirit of elite sport, the event is over and we move on to our next challenge. I am delighted to hear the first reports of the impact the Games have made in Wales.
But making the most of this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity simply cannot be left to luck. Anyone hoping that that nice, warm positivity around sport that the London Games generated will automatically transfer into more people taking part is living in cloud cuckoo land.
We shouldn’t need telling that Olympic success comes from damned hard work and perseverance, and it is that which has to be replicated in our work with clubs and communities to properly capture the passion of 2012.
We don’t have long either- we can try to sustain the buzz but it will fade next year - so now is our golden moment.
There are questions for all of us - ‘Are we doing what we need to do?’ ‘Do we have enough capacity -especially coaches and volunteers?’ ‘If not, what are we doing about it?’ The wonderful London ‘Games Makers’ showed the enthusiasm and will that there is to volunteer and I understand the Glasgow Commonwealth Games volunteer programme is already over-subscribed. Let’s capture that willingness and utilise it in the less glamorous, but equally fulfilling, world of grassroots sport.
And let me be very clear, we are now in the business of talking about the rights of children to good quality PE and sport, and the duty we have to ensure this happens.
No child turned on to sport by Jade Jones or Mark Colbourne should be turned away at their local club because of a lack of volunteers and coaches.
Two years ago- working with you all- we at Sport Wales set an ambitious target to double the number of coaches and volunteers to a quarter of a million by 2016. We will be watching progress towards this target with interest.
We now have a brand new Board at Sport Wales, some exciting and different contributors to the quest to make Wales one of the world’s leading sporting nations. I have made it very clear to my colleagues that the focus for our work is to drive change and improvement. Every debate we have will be framed not by, ‘we’ve always funded them’ or ‘they’ve delivered for us in the past’.
In fact, it will be the opposite in the future. The questions we will be asking are:
‘What can we do differently?’ ‘Which organisations are driving change?’ ‘Which are reaching out to groups currently under-represented in sport?’
For the first point of entry to coaching, simplicity is the key. We need to make it as easy as possible for the public to become coaches. If the process is cumbersome and costly-let’s be honest, we simply won't get anywhere. And we all need to shout it from the tree tops that there is funding available to help with costs.

We are a small nation and we simply can’t afford not to use all of the talent there is out there. I know that a number of governing bodies are working together on new awards to bridge the gap in providing coach education in priority areas. We know only too well that we need to address the issue of getting more women and girls, and those from a disadvantaged or a BME background, into sport and that means into coaching and volunteering too.

I’d ask you all to think about what more you can do for sport. In many cases, we rely on the amazing work carried out by one or two people and don’t spend enough time on succession planning or thinking about how we make a club or activity sustainable in the long term. A boom and bust approach to sports clubs does not work. The fantastic network of clubs that we have needs to be secure and sustainable. With a strong and diverse volunteer base, all clubs can build for the future.
And talking about succession planning, could we have a better resource for future coaching and volunteering than our splendid Young Ambassadors? Plus the excellent work with Sports Leaders UK and Sports Coach UK too.

For our Governing Bodies especially, is coaching and volunteering high enough on your agendas? Is your workforce plan a ‘live’ document that you consult regularly? Are you sufficiently open to learning from best practice elsewhere? Some sports, such as football, hockey and netball, are reporting continued increases in coaches and volunteers. What can we learn about the way these sports prioritise coaching and volunteering?

I am very confident that you will respond to the challenges we are setting, as the outcome is a massively enticing and motivating one: even more Welsh athletes on the podium in Glasgow in around 600 days’ time, and then breaking more records in Rio two years later. But as importantly, the smiles on the faces of our children as they have well-organised, properly run (and most importantly, fun) sport in their schools and communities.
Rydw i bob amser yn teimlo’n gyffrous iawn pan fydd Gwobrau Hyfforddwr y Flwyddyn Chwaraeon Cymru yn cael eu cynnal, i gael clywed y straeon rhyfeddol ac ysbrydoledig am y bobl sydd, o ddweud y gwir plaen, yn asgwrn cefn chwaraeon yng Nghymru. Mae hyfforddwyr a gwirfoddolwyr yn haeddu pob cydnabyddiaeth maen nhw’n ei chael.
Rydw i’n gwybod nad ydyn nhw’n chwilio am sylw am yr hyn maen nhw’n ei wneud a’r amser maen nhw’n ei dreulio yn y byd chwaraeon, ond does gen i ddim amheuaeth eu bod nhw’n llawn haeddu’r clod sy’n cael ei roi iddyn nhw yn yr achlysur yma.
Ac mae hi wedi bod yn flwyddyn wych i chwaraeon Cymru a Phrydain! Blwyddyn a gaiff ei chofio fel un sydd wedi ysbrydoli cenhedlaeth.
Ond yng ngwir ysbryd chwaraeon elitaidd, mae’r achlysur drosodd a nawr rydyn ni’n symud ymlaen at ein her nesaf. Rydw i wrth fy modd yn cael clywed yr adroddiadau cyntaf am effaith a dylanwad y Gemau yng Nghymru.
Ond nid dim ond lwc ddylai fod yn gyfrifol am wneud y gorau o’r cyfle cwbl unigryw yma mewn oes. Mae unrhyw un sy’n gobeithio y bydd yr agwedd bositif, braf sydd wedi’i chreu tuag at chwaraeon gan Gemau Llundain yn trosglwyddo’n awtomatig i fwy o bobl yn cymryd rhan yn byw mewn rhyw freuddwyd ffôl.   
Does dim rhaid i ni ailadrodd mai gwaith caled a dyfalbarhad sy’n gyfrifol am lwyddiant Olympaidd, ac mai dyna sydd raid i ni ei ailadrodd yn ein gwaith gyda chlybiau a chymunedau er mwyn ffrwyno angerdd 2012 yn llwyddiannus.
A does gennym ni ddim llawer  o amser chwaith – fe allwn ni geisio cynnal y bwrlwm ond bydd yn gwanio y flwyddyn nesaf – felly dyma ein cyfle euraid ni.
Mae cwestiynau i ni i gyd - ‘Ydyn ni’n gwneud beth sydd angen i ni ei wneud?’ ‘Oes gennym ni ddigon o adnoddau – yn enwedig hyfforddwyr a gwirfoddolwyr?’ ‘Os na, beth ydym yn ei wneud am y peth?’ Fe ddangosodd ‘Games Makers’ gwych Llundain bod digon o frwdfrydedd ac ewyllys i wirfoddoli yn bodoli, ac rydw i’n deall bod rhaglen gwirfoddolwyr Gemau Cymanwlad Glasgow eisoes yn llawn. Gadewch i ni fanteisio ar y parodrwydd hwn a’i ddefnyddio ym myd llai deniadol chwaraeon ar lawr gwlad, sy’n gallu cynnig yr un ymdeimlad o foddhad yn union.                                                                                        
A gadewch i mi fod yn glir iawn, rydyn ni’n siarad yn awr am hawliau plant i gael Addysg Gorfforol a chwaraeon o safon uchel, a’r ddyletswydd sydd gennym ni i sicrhau bod hyn yn digwydd.
Ni ddylai unrhyw blentyn sydd wedi cael ei ddenu at chwaraeon gan Jade Jones neu Mark Colbourne gael ei wrthod yn ei glwb lleol oherwydd diffyg gwirfoddolwyr a hyfforddwyr.                  
Ddwy flynedd yn ôl – gan weithio gyda chi i gyd – fe wnaethom ni yn Chwaraeon Cymru osod targed uchelgeisiol iawn i ni ein hunain o ddyblu nifer yr hyfforddwyr a’r gwirfoddolwyr i chwarter miliwn erbyn 2016.  Byddwn yn gwylio’r cynnydd tuag at y targed hwn gyda diddordeb mawr.
Erbyn hyn mae gennym ni Fwrdd newydd sbon yn Chwaraeon Cymru, gyda chyfranwyr cyffrous a gwahanol i roi hwb i’n hymdrech ni i sicrhau bod Cymru’n un o brif wledydd chwaraeon y byd. Rydw i wedi datgan yn glir iawn wrth fy nghydweithwyr mai ffocws ein gwaith ni yw sbarduno newid a gwelliannau. Ni fydd pob trafodaeth a gawn ni’n troi o amgylch, ‘rydyn ni wedi eu cyllido nhw erioed’ neu ‘maen nhw wedi cyflawni i ni yn y gorffennol’.
Yn wir, byddwn ni’n gweithredu’n gwbl groes yn y dyfodol. Y cwestiynau fyddwn ni’n eu holi fydd:
‘Beth gallwn ni ei wneud yn wahanol?’ ‘Pa sefydliadau sy’n sbarduno newid?’ ‘Pa rai sy’n estyn allan at y grwpiau sy’n cael eu tangynrychioli mewn chwaraeon ar hyn o bryd?’
O ran cymryd y cam cyntaf at hyfforddi, symlrwydd yw’r allwedd. Mae’n rhaid i ni ei gwneud mor hawdd â phosib i’r cyhoedd ddod yn hyfforddwyr. Os yw’r broses yn un feichus a chostus, wel, waeth i ni fod yn onest ddim, ’wnawn ni ddim cyflawni unrhyw beth. Ac mae’n rhaid i ni i gyd sefyll ar ben toeau tai a gweiddi bod cyllid ar gael i helpu gyda chostau.     
Cenedl fechan yw’r Cymry a ’fedrwn ni ddim fforddio peidio â defnyddio’r holl dalent sydd gennym ni. Rydw i’n gwybod bod nifer o gyrff rheoli’n cydweithio ar ddyfarniadau newydd er mwyn pontio’r bwlch yn y ddarpariaeth o addysg i hyfforddwyr mewn meysydd blaenoriaeth. Rydyn ni’n gwybod yn iawn bod rhaid i ni roi sylw i gael mwy o ferched a genethod, a’r rhai o gefndiroedd difreintiedig a DLlE, i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon, ac mae hynny’n cynnwys hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli hefyd.
Fe hoffwn i ofyn i chi i gyd feddwl beth mwy gallwch chi ei wneud er lles chwaraeon. Mewn nifer o achosion, rydyn ni’n dibynnu ar y gwaith rhyfeddol sy’n cael ei wneud gan un neu ddau o bobl, heb dreulio digon o amser ar gynllunio olyniaeth neu feddwl am sut gallwn ni wneud clwb neu weithgaredd yn gynaliadwy yn y tymor hir. Nid yw clwb chwaraeon sy’n profi cyfnod llewyrchus heddiw ond cyfnod llwm yfory yn gweithio. Mae’n rhaid i’r rhwydwaith ffantastig o glybiau sydd gennym ni fod yn ddiogel ac yn gynaliadwy. Gyda sylfaen gref ac amrywiol o wirfoddolwyr, gall pob clwb adeiladu ar gyfer y dyfodol.
Ac wrth siarad am gynllunio olyniaeth, oes posib cael adnodd gwell ar gyfer hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli yn y dyfodol na’r Llysgenhadon Ifanc ardderchog? A hefyd y gwaith rhagorol gyda Sports Leaders UK a Sports Coach UK.
O ran ein Cyrff Rheoli ni’n arbennig, ydi hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli yn ddigon uchel ar eich agenda chi? Ydi eich cynllun gweithlu chi’n ddogfen ‘fyw’ yr ydych chi’n edrych arni’n rheolaidd? Ydych chi’n ddigon agored a pharod i ddysgu oddi wrth arferion mewn mannau eraill? Mae rhai chwaraeon, fel pêl droed, hoci a phêl rwyd, yn cofnodi cynnydd cyson yn nifer eu hyfforddwyr a’u gwirfoddolwyr. Beth gallwn ni ei ddysgu am y ffordd y mae’r chwaraeon hyn yn rhoi blaenoriaeth i hyfforddi a gwirfoddoli?          
Rydw i’n hyderus iawn y byddwch chi’n ymateb i’r her rydyn ni’n ei gosod, gan fod y canlyniad yn un hynod ddeniadol a chyffrous: hyd yn oed mwy o athletwyr o Gymru ar y podiwm yn Glasgow mewn tua 600 diwrnod, ac yna torri mwy o recordiau yn Rio ddwy flynedd yn ddiweddarach. Ond, yn bwysicach na dim, y wên ar wynebau ein plant ni wrth iddyn nhw gael chwaraeon trefnus dan reolaeth briodol (ac yn bwysicach na dim, chwaraeon llawn hwyl) yn eu hysgolion a’u cymunedau.