Friday, May 3, 2013

Professor Laura McAllister talks Conference 2013

I’m very excited to announce that our Annual Conference will be held on Monday 17 June at Cardiff City Stadium.

Designed to unite key stakeholders from across sectors for one day to discuss, debate and identify practical ways to deliver our shared agenda, it’s a crucial event in the Sport Wales diary in ensuring that we remain a strong and united sporting nation.

It’s a great opportunity to reach out to different sectors who may be able to use the influence of sport to their advantage – I believe in a multi-agency, multi-partner approach to creating a more active, healthy and confident population. Whether it’s across local authority departments, sectors such as health and education and even in business, we all have a responsibility to shape the future for our next generation.

The programme for this year reflects this view and will focus on a theme of leadership and legacy - we have invited leading professionals from inside and outside of the sector to stimulate important debates and discussions.

As part of the programme, we are thrilled to welcome Lord Sebastian Coe to the stage - not only one of the world’s greatest ever athletes, he also helped lead the way in exceeding our expectations for London 2012. It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on how we can strengthen the connections between the work at UK and home nation level to build on the success of the Olympics and Paralympics to keep the momentum going as we look towards Glasgow 2014.

We also welcome John Griffiths AM – his debut as Minister for Culture and Sport. I know that John is someone who has a personal love of sport and exercise, but more than that I know he will bring a drive and enthusiasm to the clear direction we have set out for the sports sector in Wales. I look forward to hearing his address.

We’ve had a record-breaking year for Wales and for GB sport with the national rugby side defending their RBS 6 Nations crown, Cardiff City FC lifting the Championship trophy, Swansea City winning the League Cup, Becky James winning two cycling World medals and a host of other successes.

This means that more than ever we need to be challenging the sector. I’m very proud of what we in Wales have achieved as a nation but we can always push ourselves further – the conference has an important role to play in this.

This is an event not to be missed - I urge those who have received an invitation to make sure they attend. The day is an undeniably important opportunity to drive sport forward in Wales.