Thursday, May 31, 2012


Every day this week until Friday, Sport Wales will be on hand with top tips to encourage you to get active with your family…
London 2012 is just around the corner and while you might not fancy yourself as the next sporting great, there’s no better time to be inspired to get involved.
11. Organise a beach trip or barbecue at the park and incorporate a trek into the trip
12.   Recreate old school sports days with sack races, three legged races and egg and spoon
13.   As we venture into days gone past, why not revive old sing-a-long skipping games like High, Low, Dolly, Pepper
14.   Grab yourself some chalk and sketch out hopscotch on the yard or your pavement  - and get hopping!
15.   Put Saturday 4 August in your diary now! Helen Jenkins is set to compete in the triathlon. Celebrate and cheer her on by staging a mini triathlon of swimming, a bike ride and a run. You can stage it over a weekend if it’s all too much for one day.
16.   Rounders is a great way to while away the hours and get the competitive juices flowing. You don’t need to be too strict with the rules either – just have fun!
17.   Take inspiration from Geraint Thomas, Mark Colbourne and Nicole Cooke. Get on your bike with the family in tow and set out to discover some stunning parts of the Welsh countryside.

18.   If you fancy going a little further afield you could negotiate Wales’ coastal paths and cycle trails and discover all that Wales has to offer – beautiful scenery, lakes, mountains and coastline make it a captivating place to tour.
19.   Make your sporting challenges fun and mix it up for variety – let your children come up with ideas too
20.   Praise and support – if they get the basic movement skills right at an early age, children are more likely to be physically active and to enjoy sport later in life
And remember to look out for Come and Try sport sessions within your local authority or why not go along to your local sports club. For more information, just contact the sport of your choice!


Already booked yourself in for a marathon TV viewing this summer as the Olympics and Paralympics descend on London? Well, don’t settle in on the sofa too quickly, Sport Wales are on hand with some top tips to encourage you to get active with your children…
London 2012 is just around the corner and while you might not fancy yourself as the next sporting great, there’s no better time to be inspired to get more active. So every day until Friday, we'll give you 10 new tips to get you and your family active....what are you waiting for?!

1.       Take inspiration from Jessica Ennis and set up your own garden decathlon. Mark out distances to jump, a line of bean bags to weave in and out of, balls to throw as far as you can
2.       Introduce games that involve a range of sporting skills such as running, jumping, dodging, throwing, catching and balancing

3.     Reward little ones for sporting triumphs by staging your own medal ceremony
4.       If children are enjoying watching a particular sport this summer, try incorporating it into a day out. You can always adapt the sport with play items if you can’t quite set up archery or fencing
5.       Invite the neighbours over and stage your own sports day. Sign up to for free tips and resources
6.       We already have eight swimmers from Wales selected for London 2012 which makes this summer the ideal time to learn to swim. Parents can reward swimming lessons by getting into the pool for a bit of playtime. Have a splash and blow bubbles in the water – it all helps your child to feel confident in the water

7.       Ask your local authority and your local sports clubs for activities happening this summer. If you are 16 and under, you can swim for free at your local authority swimming pool, thanks to the Welsh Government Free Swimming initiative
8.       Challenge little ones to do better – if they’ve jumped a certain distance or skipped a number of times, see if they can do better next time
9.       Parents need to be exercise role models – if your children see you being active, they’re more likely to take part
10.   Sunny days and ball games just seem to go together. They are play-anywhere activities and portable so they are ideal for most expeditions. Whether it’s a trip to the park, a jaunt to the seaside or a day out with the relatives, pack a bat and ball and involve everybody in a game or two. 
And remember to look out for Come and Try sport sessions within your local authority or why not go along to your local sports club. For more information, just contact the sport of your choice!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Conwy's Olympic Legacy by Jim Jones

The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay passed through the North Wales county of Conwy today. To mark the occasion, Jim Jones, Section Head of Coastal Community Development at Conwy County Borough Council tells us what Conwy’s Olympic legacy will be.

It was a decision made in Conwy many years ago to ensure we were not like others who sit on their backsides and whinge about everything happening in London. Immediately following the announcement that London was going to hold the 2012 Olympic Games back in 2005, there was a swell of sentiment from both grassroots sports nationwide, non-sporting functions and also from those communities away from the Olympic venues that they were going to lose out in funding and attention.

In Conwy we decided to bring the Olympics to our doorstep and to approach the games positively. We felt we owed it to our communities do what we can to deliver what Lord Coe wanted from London 2012 and that was to inspire young people.

When Liverpool was the Capital City of culture in 2008, there was lots of talk about the benefits it would bring for North Wales but the reality was that it didn’t happen. A headline in the North Wales Daily Post early in 2009 complained that North Wales hadn’t received any of the benefits promised. In my opinion this was due to the fact the authorities sat back and waited for the benefits to arrive, they didn’t go out and maximise the opportunity Liverpool brought us and make it happen.

Conwy made a conscious decision that we wouldn’t let that happen again, but to actively embrace the opportunity of the Olympics and bring its energy and inspiration to our communities rather than wait for it to arrive.
We have been running sports programmes themed on the Olympics which are getting kids active and giving young people jobs, leading to indefinite work.

Community Chest, which we manage locally on behalf of Sport Wales, is supporting Olympic legacy projects up to £1500 in addition to the normal application groups can apply for. Sport Wales have put another £500,000 into the pot nationally to focus specifically on minority groups such as BME communities and women and girls. This funding is available in all counties in Wales but Conwy has a reputation for punching above its weight in distributing this grant and has armfuls of case studies of brilliant programmes, clubs, capacity improvements and developments that have been delivered as a result in Conwy.
All schools in Conwy have Young Ambassadors for sport, working hard to engage with children and local community in driving sport and Olympics. We have 94 Bronze young ambassadors in our primary schools, 17 ‘Adistars’ in our secondary schools and two Gold Ambassadors representing Conwy.

Our Olympic Day, which is being held at Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay today and has been ongoing for three years, involves over 20 schools, with approximately 550 children who adopt countries and represent them, design flags, and wear kit of the nation’s colours.

We’re also holding an Olympic and Paralympic Day for approximately 500 disabled and non-disabled primary school children who will be taking part in ten different Olympic and Paralympic Sports including wheelchair basketball and boccia with exit routes into our community wheelchair basketball and boccia clubs.

Conwy are hosting the only Paralympic Flame Celebration in Wales on 27 August 2012 where four events at Colwyn Leisure Centre will take place concurrently. Conwy's disability swimming, football, boccia and wheelchair basketball clubs will host their own events that will include other disability sport clubs from all over North Wales in a celebration of Paralympic Sport and the Paralympic Values before representatives and special guests attend a civic reception for the Paralympic Flame where guests will learn of the Paralympic Legacy in Conwy. This will include the first ever wheelchair basketball festival in North Wales and guests will be invited to view the final after the civic reception.

Talking of wheelchair basketball; every secondary school within Conwy will be given two taster sessions in this massively inclusive sport. Wheelchair basketball is played by both disabled and non-disabled people and in the spring term 15 taster sessions were held in Conwy secondary schools with 338 people taking part. Remaining secondary schools will also be offered tasters.

Conwy also provides a level of support for our talented athletes, which far surpasses the usual support a local authority provides. Our elected county council members have always been keen to support our best talented sportspeople and these are not just words, they back their commitment with a range of support.

In Conwy, we cannot wait to welcome the world to our Olympic Games and we are ready to inspire our young people and celebrate with them.

Follow Jim @jjjj86 and Conwy County Borough Council @ConwyCBC on Twitter.

New This Week!

Ltd Edt Signed Tony Alva Deck 

Friday, May 25, 2012


We’ve had a few questions on Twitter recently asking what the Games legacy will be for Wales.
It seems to me that arguments over the cost of the Games or whether Wales should be hosting more of the events are for the past. For now and the future it is about what we all make of the Games and the real, tangible legacy for sport in Wales.
Here I outline some of the key sporting benefits….

Marketing campaign
I’ve always been firmly committed to the notion that London 2012 will be the biggest marketing campaign for sport we’ll ever see in Wales and the UK.
But of course we all need to be ready to capture the sporting demand that the Games will create – in our communities and in our schools.
This week, our local authority partners have been working hard to stage sporting come and try sessions and festivals as the Olympic Torch Relay journeys through Wales.
Just to give you some examples, Blaenau Gwent have today been staging an Olympic Village at Blaenycwm School. Opening once the Torch Relay has passed through, community partners are offering a range of sporting activities.
World Sports Day at Pontypool Active Living Centre will see more than 700 children from across Torfaen involved in sporting activity.
Outside Newport Centre, the public will be able to try out various Olympic related sports activities such as basketball, rowing, cycling, boxing and hockey.
And that’s just today (Friday 25 May 2012). Similar activities are being organised right along the Torch Relay route.
I’m delighted that there is a commitment to embrace and accommodate the interest in sport. It’s vital that children turning out to catch a glimpse of the Torch can also be tempted to try out a range of sports.

Community Sport
Of course, we cannot stop once the Torch leaves Wales or once the Games come to a close in September. London 2012 comes at a time when the sports sector in Wales is being very ambitious and is coming together to get every child hooked on sport for life.
Our Community Sport Strategy, launched in April will focus partners on getting every child hooked on sport for life. An extra £9million of National Lottery funding will be channelled through our Community Strategy over the next three years. That takes our annual investment into community sport up to around £32m a year.
The Strategy sets out clear priorities to enable a dramatic shift in the range and number of people involved in local sport.  You can find out more here.
We want Wales to be world renowned as a successful sporting nation where winning is expected. The idea is that any child seeing their heroes competing and winning will be able to have a go at the sport themselves.
When Dai Greene won gold at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu last year, his home Swansea Harriers club received countless calls from parents and people wanting to give athletics a try. We need to be ready for this demand.
It is up to everyone to grasp the opportunity to make a lasting change at all levels of participation.
We’ve been funding clubs in a way that helps them to thrive and take advantage of London 2012 while the profile of sport in the run up to the Games has also helped us showcase the benefits of physical literacy alongside reading and writing in school. This will be one of the most important pieces of work in Welsh sport moving forward after the Games.

Young Ambassadors

I’m particularly excited by our London 2012 Young Ambassadors – these are young people in our schools and colleges who are role models and champions of sport for their peers. A direct legacy of the Games.

Central to the Young Ambassador programme is the principle that young people can drive opportunity, engagement and change for all young people to be involved in sport.

The role of a Young Ambassador involves increasing participation in school sport and PE, spreading the word of the Olympic and Paralympic Values - respect, friendship, excellence, courage, determination, inspiration and equality - and promoting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Working in partnership with Youth Sport Trust and other bodies, this work has been a breath of fresh air. They certainly challenge me and my colleagues at Sport Wales about how we listen to and engage young people in our decision making.

Gemau Cymru

There are other legacy projects such as Gemau Cymru – a multi sport event for young athletes of Wales, organised by the Urdd. This year it is held on the weekend of 13-15 July 2012 in different locations around Cardiff.  It captures the inspiration of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It gives young athletes a fantastic opportunity to compete against their peers. We all know that to succeed on the elite stage, the chance to compete against those who are at a similar level of talent is absolutely vital .

Inspire Mark

More than 100 exceptional projects have been inspired by the Games to do something special in their local communities. They are using the Games as the inspiration to make real and lasting change. You can find out more here.

And there’s more...

From adizones around Wales to Pre Games Training Camps and the Get Set educational programme, there is so much more that is happening. You can find out more about that here...

It comes down to sparking interest among the children of Wales who all have a right to the opportunity to play sport.

And you can’t really put money on that…

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Secretary of State visits Sport Wales

Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan today popped into Sport Wales for a guided tour of the new Elite Athlete Performance Area.

She met double Olympic swimming medallist David Davies, from Barry, Paralympic athletics hopeful Aled Sion Davies from Bridgend, as well as Glasgow 2014 & Rio 2016 gymnastic hopeful Raer Theaker from Cardiff.....

They talked about London 2012, hopes for the future and also how they benefit from Sport wales' sports science and medicine experts.

There was also the opportunity to meet our team behind the team - Sport Wales' expert team of sports science and medicine specialists who help our athletes to be at their best. Here she talks to Vanessa Davies (physiologist) and Catherine Shearer (psychologist).

Jane James, one of our physiotherapists, treating Kyle Davies, a judoka.

Raer Theaker also gets treated before another training sessions. She trains about 37 hours a week!!

Aled Sion Davies has had minor hiccup in his London 2012 preparation. Senior physiotherapist Sian Knott explains how she's helping him to recover speedily!

Quick photo opportunity - not forgetting the Sports Science & Medicine mascot Gwyn the Penguin!

Kathryn Brown, Performance Nutritionist, explains how nutrition strategies help athletes be at the best...

Brian Davies, Sport Wales Institute Manager, and Physiologist Laura Needham talk through their work

And here's Joe Hewitt, our resident Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Chair of Sport Wales, Professor Laura McAllister explains why the team of experts are crucial to Wales' success on the world sporting stage....

Finally, Secretary of State writes a good luck message to the Welsh contingent competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Commonwealth Games

Thanks for popping in - hopefully see you soon! If you'd like more information on our brand new Elite Performance section of the website 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#sportwalesconf: Women and Girls

As part of our Sport Wales Annual Conference 2012 guest panelist and Welsh Netball CEO, Mike Fatkin, gives his views on engaging more women and girls in sport. What's your view? Join the #sportwalesconf discussion and share your opinion with @sport_wales on Twitter.

As a National Governing Body (NGB) CEO I am regularly sent surveys and reports.  Many of these are just number-crunching, and a number of them mean diddly squat, frankly, but I do find myself reading anything which discusses the status of women’s and girls’ sport.

I start with a mix of interest and enthusiasm, but this is more often than not followed by brow-furrowing and feelings of frustration.

There are a lot of ‘big statements’ out there. I also think there’s a reluctance to really want to tackle the issues.

Women’s participation lags way behind men’s. Naturally there are different barriers and challenges.  Having two daughters of my own, I’ve seen some of these, and my experience over the last three years has highlighted many others. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that in the past women have effectively been ‘bundled up’ with other so-called minorities and treated as a 'hard-to-reach' group, requiring strategies based on equality rather than common sense.

When I last looked the global population was, essentially, 50:50 male/female. I’m not too sure many of the strategies we see actually reflect that. This isn’t a minority group we’re talking about. I’m not for a moment advocating any kind of positive discrimination but I’d love to see a more creative approach where sports are rewarded for a clear development plan showing how they are tackling the issue. And why not hit them in the pocket if they don’t?

I believe we will struggle to really promote women’s and girls’ sport without influencing the media.

Let’s be honest, it doesn’t take a Miss Marple to see that it just isn’t important to them. Typically, less than 5% of all sports coverage is devoted to women’s sport. We’ll see a surge around the Olympics, of course, as leading female athletes get their moments in the sun, but you wouldn’t bet your mortgage on that lasting.

No legacy there.

I won’t go over the BBC’s male-only shortlist for the Sports Personality of the Year award, but that, in essence, captures the problem and there was some misogynistic claptrap written and spoken at the time.  Some of the more mouthy media-types argue that their readers/viewers/listeners only want to read about the ‘popular sports.' Maybe. But when you’re flicking through whole supplements with barely a column or two devoted to women in sport it’s just lazy, frankly.

Why not actually take time to focus properly on some of the leading sportswomen? You’re losing readers and, hey, it might even start attracting new ones, who knows?  Give us role models in the media and we can do wonders.

There are obviously barriers women and girls face to being active. I’ve read of research which talks about school sport turning girls off; being active perceived as being ‘unattractive;' an inflexibility in activities offered; a lack of understanding and fitting in with women’s working and home lives; and sport not meeting women’s needs; to add to the media issue.

We’re focusing on that crucial age group of 12 to 16-year-olds. Netball is well covered at primary level but there aren’t sufficient clubs for them to go to in their early secondary years. We are also really keen on looking at innovative ways of drawing girls in and then working hard to retain them. The traditional, predictable routes just aren’t working. It’s likely to be something of a long haul but the potential is massive.

Then there is the fact that sports have historically been run by men. Yes, I know. Netball in Wales is not. I’m well aware of that. But I’d also point out that the ultimate decision-maker in Welsh Netball is the Chair, Catherine Lewis, who is excellent. I’ve come from a male-dominated environment in cricket to a female-dominated environment in netball. Different issues, different profiles, different structures - agreed. But the quality of decision-making in netball is as good, if not better.

I also have a very high regard for the likes of Helen Bushell (Hockey) and Rhian Gibson (Gymnastics) so have no qualms about the quality of female CEO in other sports. And the impact Laura McAllister has had on the thinking within Sport Wales is there for all to see.

There seems to be a lot more talk about the issue than any real effort to go about dealing with it. There are no obvious answers, but let’s be serious about trying to provide them.

Find out more about Welsh Netball and follow @mikefatkin.

#sportwalesconf: Engaging children and young people from deprived communities

As part of our Sport Wales Annual Conference 2012 guest panelist and StreetGames Wales Manager, Caro Wild, gives his views on engaging children and young people from deprived communities. What's your view? Join the #sportwalesconf discussion and share your opinion with @sport_wales on Twitter. 

Sport in the UK is not currently 'for all' and every child is not 'hooked on sport.'

We've gone a little wrong somewhere. 

I'm not going to bore you with stats. But the evidence base is there: Fewer people are playing sport, more people are overweight - or worse; obese - kids are bored and (at times quite literally) running riot. And the one in three children in Wales living in poverty (yes really) are even less likely to play sport, joining the disabled, females, and those from a black and ethnic minority background as groups far less likely to be active.

And this isn't a demand issue; the evidence is there that shows that demand is usually higher from these groups.

The reasons for this are far too wide to cover in any detail here. And to gain a full understanding one would need to consider factors such as national health trends, transport changes, town planning, teaching practice, technology, the media, outward migration of role models, new mediums, and even the growth in car ownership. 

So we've got a lot of work to do. And if we're going to get every child hooked on sport we're clearly going to need to do things differently.

But first of all I believe we've got another problem in sport. I am going to generalise a bit to make a point here.

I see several Local Authority sport development teams who have failed to create good links with other departments (I appreciate that this isn't always their fault). We have over-complicated sport (Coaching certification policy being one example). And worst of all we've sometimes acted like we own sport. Like I said, this isn't necessarily sport's fault. And I am astounded when I (regularly) meet Local Authorities whose departments you would think would be 'all over' sport don't actually meet, talk and do stuff together.

We can shift this though.

There's a lovely saying, I only heard recently (although I understand it isn't new): 'A small clever country called Wales.' And this sums up why I believe we can get every child hooked on sport, and it is why I really believe we can change many of our communities through the power of sport. We are small enough to understand what is happening in different places, we have a government who are in a position to allow real difference, we have smart brains wanting to change things and we have amazing young people ready to get moving.

For me, the cleverest thing we - sport's guardians - can do is to give it away freely to people and organisations. No terms and conditions, no contracts, no fee and no paperwork. Let them have it. Let them grow it. Let them be creative with it and be inspired by it. If we're going to make step changes it's not going to be using the same systems, it is going to be by breaking down systems, barriers, old-fashioned styles, mistrust and inertia.

What a great time to be involved in sport in Wales.

Find out more about StreetGames and follow 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blackriver products back in stock!

Berlinwood Fingerboard Classic Shape @$70 each
-Shin Bubbles
-Elias Assmuth
-BW Logo Rasta
-BR Anker White/gold
-Yama Ferit
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Berlinwood Fingerboard Wide Shape @ $70 each
-Shin Blackriver
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Berlinwood Fingerboard Wide Low Shape @$70 each
-Wood Wars
-Wrinkler Mainzelmann

Blackriver Fingerboard Trucks @ $100 a set
-Jack Black
-Rad Red
-Mean Green
-Super Silver
-Mellow Yellow
-Super Silver Wide 2.0

Wrinkler Fingerboard Wheels $67 a set
-Big Daddy'z
-Classic White
-Classic Black

Blackriver Fingerboard Ramps
-Box1 @ $35
-Box2 @ $46
-Box3 @ $43
-Box5 @ $56
-Street Kicker @ $43
-Mini Table @ $45
-Iron Rail Round @ $45
-Iron Rail Square @ $45
-Iron Rail Rainbow @ $45

Riptape Uncut Classic/Catchy @ $17 a pack

First Aid Screws @ $9 a pack

First Aid Nuts @ $9 a pack.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

a man cried loudly on the street. what had happened to him? he sobbed like a child.
because i wanted to eat my ice-cream undisturbed by lustful glances, i went to the graveyard.
first I thought: "these sprayers really stop at nothing!" dann I recognized that this was a sprayer's grave.
next to my house I saw a girl with a funny telephone (in pink!!!)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Investing in the Community: Professor Laura McAllister's View

Following the Launch of the Community Sport Strategy for Wales, Professor Laura McAllister gives her view on why the focus will make a difference to sporting life from the grassroots to elite.

The 100 days to go until London 2012 mark has been and gone – I can scarcely believe that it’s been seven years since we won the bid.
Of course, it wasn’t just the technical strength of the bid itself that led to our hosting of the Games, it was largely down to the commitment to maximise the power of the Games to inspire the youth of the world to re-engage with sport.
We already have a strong Welsh contingent forming within Team GB and ParalympicsGB, which is only set to grow with former medallists and current World Champions such as Geraint Thomas, Helen Jenkins and Dai Greene yet to be selected.
The London 2012 Games provides us in Wales with a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture the imaginations of our children, and use these athletes that have been born and bred in Wales, attended our schools, and been members of our sports clubs as role models to inspire youngsters into sport.
By launching the Community Strategy for sport in Wales, that holds our ambition of getting every child hooked on sport for life at its very heart, we have already made strides in fulfilling that commitment.
100 days out from the Games, and with the help of back to back broadcast coverage from BBC Wales, ITV Wales and Real Radio, we unveiled a further investment of £9million National Lottery funding into community sport over the next three years. In total this means that Sport Wales will now be injecting a total of almost £32m a year into community sport in Wales.
The abundance of positive feedback from partners and the extensive media interest in the Community Strategy, and what it means for the people of Wales, is testament to its importance and this launch is very much the beginning.
The strategy is designed to challenge the sports sector to up the ante in increasing the number of people across the nation playing sport; to fulfil our ambition of getting every child in Wales, without exception, hooked on sport for life. And I don’t make that statement lightly.
The strategy sets out clear priorities to enable a dramatic shift in the range and number of people involved in local sport. It’s about developing much wider offers, both formal and recreational, which are capable of appealing to a greater variety of children, young people and adults. Sport needs to keep adapting to be fresh and appealing. Sport needs to fit into today’s busy lifestyles. At Sport Wales, we will be incentivizing new and innovative approaches. We cannot have more of the same. The same approaches will produce the same results.
We know that there are pockets of good work happening across Wales already of course. But good work needs to become the norm everywhere. And we need to ensure that those groups that may have less opportunity to take part are not excluded. We simply cannot be complacent and we need everybody in the sector to raise their game.
We cannot underestimate the education agenda – it is absolutely crucial if Wales is to witness a significant increase in the numbers of young people playing sport. Schools play a fundamental role in developing and sustaining a child’s love of sport.
We need to see every child accessing two hours of high quality PE every week. This needs to be supported by at least three hours of extracurricular or community sport.
The most important factor in all of this is that of the headteacher. Those that embrace the importance of vibrant school sport and are passionate about it place sport high on the agenda. They ensure that opportunities, designed by the pupils that meet their needs, are provided and that they link with the community and local clubs.
In some cases, time allocated to physical education within Initial Teacher Education and Training for primary school teachers is minimal.
The lack of training means that often our primary school teachers are not confident and, if they don’t have a passion for sport, where does that leave our children at a crucial time in their physical development?  Sport Wales is a firm believer that greater priority should be given to the training of teachers in this area so that they are upskilled and confident in the delivery of physical education. 
We also recognise the need to further maximise the available expertise and resources of FE and HE institutions, to continue the development of sporting opportunities beyond the school environment. If we can achieve this across the board in Wales, it would make a serious impact on our aspiration to get every child in Wales hooked on sport for life.
So while London 2012 creeps ever closer, the winners and the stories of triumph, we all need to consider how we can make the biggest difference, using the power of the Games and those to come, to get every child hooked on sport for life.
We’re keen to hear your views on community sport. If you’ve got anything to add to the debate then get involved by tweeting me @lauramcallister or @sport_wales and using #communitysport.
Mae carreg filltir y 100 diwrnod i fynd tan Gemau Llundain 2012 wedi dod a mynd – dydw i ddim yn gallu credu ei bod hi’n saith mlynedd ers i ni ennill y cais.  
Wrth gwrs, nid dim ond cryfder technegol y cais ei hun oedd yn gyfrifol am y penderfyniad i ni gael cynnal y Gemau, roedd yn ymwneud i raddau helaeth â’r ymrwymiad i fanteisio i’r eithaf ar rym y Gemau i ysbrydoli ieuenctid y byd i ailddechrau cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon.         
Eisoes mae gennym ni garfan gref o Gymru’n rhan o Dîm PF a Pharalympiaid PF ac mae’r nifer hwnnw’n siŵr o gynyddu gyda chyn-enillwyr medalau a Phencampwyr Byd presennol, fel Geraint Thomas, Helen Jenkins a Dai Greene, eto i gael eu dewis.
Mae Gemau Llundain 2012 yn darparu cyfle unigryw i ni yng Nghymru gydio yn nychymyg ein plant a defnyddio’r athletwyr hyn sydd wedi’u geni a’u magu yng Nghymru, ac wedi mynychu ein hysgolion ni a bod yn aelodau o’n clybiau chwaraeon ni, fel modelau rôl i ysbrydoli ieuenctid i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon.                                                        
Drwy lansio’r Strategaeth Gymunedol ar gyfer chwaraeon yng Nghymru, sy’n cynnwys ein huchelgais ni i gael pob plentyn i wirioni ar chwaraeon am oes yn rhan greiddiol ohoni, rydyn ni eisoes wedi cymryd camau at gyflawni’r ymrwymiad hwnnw.
Gyda 100 diwrnod i fynd tan y Gemau, a gyda chymorth darlledu cefn wrth gefn gan BBC Wales, ITV Wales a Real Radio, fe wnaethon ni ddatgelu buddsoddiad o £9 miliwn pellach o gyllid y Loteri Genedlaethol mewn chwaraeon cymunedol yn ystod y tair blynedd nesaf. Mae hyn yn golygu y bydd Chwaraeon Cymru yn cyfrannu cyfanswm o bron i £32m y flwyddyn at chwaraeon cymunedol yng Nghymru.
Mae’r holl adborth cadarnhaol gan bartneriaid, a’r sylw eang gan y cyfryngau i’r Strategaeth Gymunedol a beth mae’n ei olygu i bobl Cymru, yn dyst i’w phwysigrwydd a’r lansiad hwn yw’r dechrau yn wir.                                         
Nod y strategaeth yw herio’r sector chwaraeon i anelu’n uwch a chynyddu nifer y bobl ar hyd a lled y wlad sy’n cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon a chyflawni ein huchelgais o gael pob plentyn yng Nghymru, yn ddieithriad, i wirioni ar chwaraeon am oes. Ac nid datganiad ysgafn, difeddwl mo hwn.
Mae’r strategaeth yn datgan blaenoriaethau clir i alluogi newid dramatig yn ystod a nifer y bobl sy’n ymwneud â chwaraeon lleol. Mae’n ymwneud â datblygu cynigion llawer ehangach, yn rhai ffurfiol a hamdden, sy’n gallu apelio at amrywiaeth ehangach o blant, pobl ifanc ac oedolion.  Mae’n rhaid i chwaraeon addasu’n gyson i fod yn ffres ac apelgar, i weddu i’n ffyrdd prysur ni o fyw heddiw. Yn Chwaraeon Cymru, byddwn yn cymell ffyrdd newydd a blaengar o weithio. Ni allwn fodloni ar fwy o’r un peth. Bydd yr un dulliau o weithio’n arwain at yr un canlyniadau.                 
Rydyn ni’n gwybod bod pocedi o waith da’n digwydd ledled Cymru eisoes wrth gwrs. Ond mae’n rhaid i waith da ddod yn norm ym mhob man. Ac mae’n rhaid i ni sicrhau nad yw’r grwpiau hynny sy’n cael llai o gyfleoedd i gymryd rhan efallai yn cael eu heithrio. Ni allwn orffwys ar ein rhwyfau ac mae’n rhaid i bawb yn y sector anelu’n uwch.
Mae’r agenda addysg yn gwbl hanfodol hefyd os yw Cymru am weld cynnydd sylweddol yn nifer y bobl ifanc sy’n cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon. Mae ysgolion yn chwarae rhan sylfaenol mewn datblygu a chynnal hoffter plentyn o chwaraeon.                                                                                                       
Mae’n rhaid i ni weld pob plentyn yn cymryd rhan mewn dwy awr o AG safonol bob wythnos. Mae’n rhaid cefnogi hyn gyda thair awr o leiaf o chwaraeon allgyrsiol neu gymunedol.                                                      
Y ffactor bwysicaf yn hyn i gyd yw’r pennaeth. Mae’r rhai sy’n croesawu pwysigrwydd chwaraeon ysgol hyfyw, ac sy’n teimlo’n angerddol dros eu lle pwysig ar yr agenda, yn sicrhau bod cyfleoedd sy’n cael eu cynllunio gan y disgyblion i ddiwallu eu hanghenion yn cael eu darparu ac yn cysylltu â chlybiau cymunedol a lleol.                                      
Mewn rhai achosion, mae’r amser a neilltuir i addysg gorfforol yn yr Hyfforddiant ac Addysg Gychwynnol i athrawon cynradd yn brin iawn.                                              
Mae’r diffyg hyfforddiant yn golygu nad yw ein hathrawon cynradd ni’n hyderus yn aml iawn ac, os nad oes ganddynt angerdd dros chwaraeon, beth sy’n digwydd i’n plant ni wedyn ar adeg mor allweddol yn eu datblygiad corfforol? Mae Chwaraeon Cymru’n credu’n gryf bod rhaid rhoi mwy o flaenoriaeth i hyfforddi athrawon yn y maes hwn, fel bod eu sgiliau’n gwella ac er mwyn iddynt fod yn hyderus i gyflwyno addysg gorfforol.               
Rydyn ni hefyd yn cydnabod yr angen am ddefnyddio i’r eithaf yr arbenigedd a’r adnoddau sydd ar gael gan sefydliadau Addysg Bellach ac Addysg Uwch, i ddal ati i ddatblygu cyfleoedd chwaraeon y tu hwnt i amgylchedd yr ysgol. Os gallwn ni gyflawni hyn yn gyffredinol ledled Cymru, byddai’n cael effaith fawr iawn ar ein dyhead ni i gael pob plentyn yng Nghymru i wirioni ar chwaraeon am oes.
Felly tra bo Llundain 2012, yr enillwyr a’r straeon am lwyddiant yn dod yn nes ac yn nes o hyd, mae’n rhaid i ni i gyd ystyried sut gallwn ni wneud y gwahaniaeth mwyaf, gan ddefnyddio grym y Gemau hyn, a’r rhai sydd i ddod, i gael pob plentyn i wirioni ar chwaraeon am oes.
Rydyn ni’n awyddus i glywed eich barn chi am chwaraeon cymunedol. Os oes gennych chi unrhyw beth i’w ychwanegu at y drafodaeth, yna dylech gymryd rhan drwy drydar gyda mi @lauramcallister neu @sport_wales a defnyddio #communitysport.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ribena Report on Play Blog - Helen Hughes

In our latest blog, Sport Wales’ Helen Hughes responds to the findings of the recently published Ribena Plus Play Report.

The report revealed:

• 92% of parents believe that imaginary play is important but 16% don’t know how to create it with their child

• Only 32% of kids still play with household items, but 70% play on video games while nine in ten watch DVDs

• 30% of parents ‘feel under pressure to be fun’

• One in seven parents say they ‘don’t know what they’re doing when they are playing with their kids’

 • There were signs that a new generation of parents who themselves had not been allowed to play unsupervised in parks or woods were now bringing up children without vital experiences to draw upon.

Play to Learn: Developing the FUNdamental
physical skills of children in Wales

Sport Wales agrees that physical play and playing outdoors are essential ingredients to a child’s overall health and wellbeing and in developing the FUNdamental physical skills to take part in physical activity lifelong.

Unfortunately parent’s cautiousness in terms of the health and safety of their children whilst playing freely outdoors can fuel inactivity, which often results in more sedentary options such as playing on computer games or watching DVDs.  This fear, coupled with parents lacking in confidence in how to play with their children, is a growing concern.

We feel that there is a real opportunity for parents to engage with their children through our initiative Play to Learn for 3-7 years olds. The resource was created by Sport Wales in 2010 to support practitioners and is rolling out across all schools in Wales.  It is also available online and seeks to equip parents with lots of ideas to engage in play and support the development of their children’s physical skills such as throwing, catching and hopping – and most importantly having fun!

Initial responses indicate a positive response to the website and the Play to Learn concept by parents revealing increased levels of family engagement, ideas being developed through stories and potential lifestyle changes due to families being more active together.

Visit our Play to Learn site to join in on the action!