Urdd receives a £250,000 boost from Sport Wales to support youth sport
Paul Dancey on 26/06/2012
Sport Wales has agreed a landmark £250,000 investment into the Welsh language youth organisation, the Urdd, to ensure thousands more children and young people get hooked on sport for life.
The Urdd is the largest organisation in Wales for children and young people with a membership of 50,000. The Urdd's traditional base has been residential centres, music and the arts, with sport being a relatively recent area of development.
In order to fulfil its target of every child and young person being given the chance to participate in a Welsh-medium community sports activity, the Urdd is looking to double the number of sports officers from 10 to 20 and the number of young volunteers trained to run clubs from 600 to 1,200.
Chief Executive of Sport Wales, Dr Huw Jones said: "The Urdd are a key partner in the bid to realise our Vision of getting every child hooked on sport for life and to create a nation of champions in Wales. We have challenged the sports sector to up the ante in increasing the number of people playing sport across the nation and the Urdd's ambitious plans are exactly the sort of response we are seeking to create a significant step change in participation.
"The Urdd are a crucial sports development arm in their own right for us here in Wales. We want to ensure that there are no barriers, including language, to sports participation for our young people. The Urdd are doing a fantastic job of engaging thousands of Welsh speaking, and Welsh learners, children and young people across the country.
"For that reason we are very pleased to announce this significant funding boost today, to ensure that this effective partnership approach can lead to even greater success for years to come."
Urdd Sports Director, Gary Lewis added: "We have worked closely with Sport Wales, to deliver grass-roots sport to Welsh children and young people, for many years. This significant investment represents a massive vote of confidence in our ability to drive even more participation, aligned with Sport Wales' Vision and Community Sport Strategy.
"Participation is the Urdd Sports Department's main objective - getting young girls and boys active and getting them into sport and giving them interests outside of the school. A fundamental part of our work is that transition from school playground into the community.
"It's vital that children and young people have ownership of their activities in order for them to feel part of the community club which they attend and most importantly to get them actively involved week in week out."
Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews AM added: "The Urdd have a long established sports programme and I'm delighted that this funding will now help them expand that programme further and reach more children and young people. This supports the Welsh Government's vision to see more children and young people take part in sport and to develop a more active Wales. It also provides more opportunities for young people to use Welsh outside the classroom, which is an important part of our Welsh Language Strategy."
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