Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol

Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee

08/06/2022

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Alun Davies MS
Carolyn Thomas MS
Delyth Jewell MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Hefin David MS
Heledd Fychan MS
Tom Giffard MS

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Claire Lane StreetGames
StreetGames
Emily Reynolds Ymddiriedolaeth Chwaraeon Ieuenctid
Youth Sport Trust
Fiona Reid Chwaraeon Anabledd Cymru
Disability Sport Wales
Gary Lewis Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Jo Jones Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Mark Lawrie StreetGames
StreetGames
Melitta McNarry Prifysgol Abertawe
Swansea University

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Craig Griffiths Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Lleu Williams Clerc
Clerk
Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Osian Bowyer Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Tanwen Summers Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor yn y Senedd a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.

The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:30.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau a dirprwyon
1. Introductions, apologies and substitutions

Bore da. Hoffwn i estyn croeso i'r Aelodau ac i bawb i'r cyfarfod hwn o'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol. Gaf i ofyn yn gyntaf a oes gan unrhyw Aelodau fuddiannau i'w datgan? Dwi ddim yn gweld bod yna.

Cyn i ni ddechrau'r eitem gyntaf, hoffwn i longyfarch, wrth gwrs, tîm dynion Cymru yn y pêl-droed. Rŷm ni i gyd yn falch iawn ohonyn nhw. Hoffwn i hefyd longyfarch y tîm sy'n gyfrifol am gais Wrecsam ar gyfer Dinas Diwylliant y DU 2025. Fe wnaethon nhw gyflawni gwaith ardderchog. Roeddem ni wedi gweld tipyn o hyn pan oeddem ni yn y gogledd yn ddiweddar. Maen nhw wedi codi proffil diwylliant Cymru ac agor hynna i gynulleidfaoedd newydd, felly llongyfarchiadau iddyn nhw ar y gwaith.

At hynny, hoffwn i dynnu sylw at y gwasanaeth cerddoriaeth cenedlaethol sydd wedi cael ei gyhoeddi fis diwethaf i gynyddu cyfleoedd ar gyfer dysgu canu offeryn yn yr ysgol. Hefyd, ym mis Mai, lansiwyd cynllun peilot yr Ymddiriedolaeth Lleoliadau Cerddoriaeth i brynu lleoliadau a rhentu yn ôl i weithredwyr am gyfradd fwy teg er mwyn sicrhau dyfodol a'u helpu i dyfu. Roedd y rhain yn argymhellion o'r pwyllgor hwn a'r rhagflaenydd yn y pumed Senedd, a hynny yn rhannol wnaeth arwain at sefydlu'r ddwy fenter at ei gilydd, felly dŷn ni'n falch iawn o hynny. 

Good morning. I'd like to welcome Members and all to this meeting of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee. May I ask first of all whether there are any declarations of interest? I don't see any.

Before we start the first item, I'd like to congratulate the Welsh men's football team. We're very proud of them. I'd also like to congratulate the team responsible for Wrexham's bid for UK City of Culture 2025. They did an excellent job, and we saw quite a lot of this when we were in north Wales recently. They've raised the profile of Welsh culture and opened it up to new audiences, so congratulations to them on that work.

I'd also like to highlight the national music service that was launched last month to increase opportunities to learn to play an instrument in school. Also in May, the Music Venues Trust pilot scheme was launched to purchase venues and rent them back to operators at a fairer rate to secure their future and help them grow. These were initiatives recommended by this and our predecessor committee in the fifth Senedd, and that in part led to establishing both initiatives. So, we're very pleased about that.

2. Ymchwiliad i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig: Sesiwn dystiolaeth gydag elusennau chwaraeon (1)
2. Inquiry into participation in sport in disadvantaged areas: Evidence session with sport charities (1)

Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen, felly, at eitem 2, sef ymchwiliad i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig. Mae sesiwn dystiolaeth gyda ni gydag elusennau chwaraeon heddiw. Gaf i ofyn yn gyntaf i'n tystion i gyflwyno eu hunain? Fe wnaf i fynd at Mark a Claire yn gyntaf.

So, we'll move on to item 2, which is the inquiry into participation in sport in disadvantaged areas. We now have an evidence session with sports charities. May I ask the witnesses first of all to introduce themselves? I'll go to Mark and Claire first of all.

Bore da. My name's Mark Lawrie. I'm the chief executive of StreetGames.

Bore da, good morning. My name's Claire Lane. I'm the national director for StreetGames in Wales.

Thank you so much. And, Fiona, who is joining us virtually, can you introduce yourself, please?

Bore da, pawb. Good morning, everybody. I'm Fiona Reid. I'm CEO for Disability Sport Wales.

Ffantastig. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Fe wnawn ni symud yn syth at gwestiynau gan Aelodau. Fe wnawn ni fynd yn gyntaf at Alun Davies.

Fantastic. Thank you very much. We'll move on straight to questions from Members. We'll go first of all to Alun Davies. 

Thank you. I'm grateful to you for your time this morning. I'm interested in how you see barriers to participation, and it might be useful just to kick off this session with a general question as to what you think the biggest barriers are to participation in sports. 

When we're talking about disadvantaged communities, I know the committee's heard a lot about cost. From our point of view, that is an issue, obviously. The average family living in poverty have £3.75 a week to spend on sport and active leisure, which obviously—

It comes from survey work done by Sheffield Hallam around the household survey across the UK. It's worked out as an average of spend on lots of different parts of what households spend on, and that's actually—

So, it's an average of spend rather than available spend.

Yes, absolutely. And, if you look at what's happened since that survey was conducted in 2019, obviously that figure is bound to be lower now. Facility access is obviously extremely challenging in some of the communities we're talking about, and challenges for parents who may be working very long hours and who are unable to support their children and young people to get involved in sport and physical activity.

The two critical bits for us are also about the right workforce—so, having the right local people who connect well with children and young people in these communities, who understand their lives, and people like them, if those people aren't there, if they're not supported, if they're not able to be supported with training, then that becomes really tricky.

And then the final thing from our point of view is just about the right style of provision—the barrier that exists around having the right offer for young people who live in disadvantaged communities, because our experience is that they often want a different offer to the traditional sports club; they want an informal offer that's fun, that they can access with their friends and that, most importantly, is on their doorstep, is outside where they live, because of all the other barriers that they face.

Okay. Before going across to Fiona, can I take you up on that final point, because I get the first three major points that you've made, but I don't understand your final point? I represent a disadvantaged community in Blaenau Gwent, but I can't think of anything that is very different to what we would want than somebody living in an affluent part of Cardiff. 

Yes. Well, your leisure trust in Blaenau Gwent are a brilliant example of the kind of a locally trusted community organisation that we would work with at StreetGames. So, you know very well, and, actually, it's about both having the offer that young people can access today, which may be about something that's on their doorstep, and then also, for us, it's about helping mainstream sport to change the way it makes its offer to understand the barriers that these young people face so that they can access club sport, because, actually, there isn't a reason why those who are talented and want to play shouldn't be able to access the right form of club sport.

09:35

I don't disagree with that. I was interested by the 'style of provision' remark that you made, because, as you know, the people that I represent in Blaenau Gwent are all enthused by the success of the Welsh football team in the same way as they would be in an affluent part of the country, and the style of provision is quite an interesting concept because it sort of, in my mind, plays to an argument that you have sport that is almost a middle-class activity and then sport that is more working class, really. I'm not quite sure I see that, because when I talk to people in my constituency—I just actually had a series of meetings with football clubs as it happens—what they're concerned about is the point that you made in your opening comments on facilities. What people tell me, time and time again, is that it's facilities and access to facilities that matter. I remember talking many years ago about free swimming, and it's great if it's free swimming, but if you've got to travel 30 miles to a pool, then you haven't got free swimming because you haven't got access to it. So, for me, what people keep coming back to is access to facilities.

And it is. Certainly, post pandemic, the pressure on facilities to generate income means that many of the groups and organisations that we would work with are struggling to find space to run their session. And to your point, yes, absolutely, young people want to play what they get to see on television or online, but also what we find is, with older young people, some of that is less about a structured offer. So, as young people get older, they still want to play football, they still want to play with their friends, but they may want to do it in an informal setting. They might want to do it in their local games area rather than be part of a team that plays every Saturday because, actually, for those older young people, a lot of the pressures they have in other areas of their life mean that the formal sport offer just doesn't fit. So, I don't think it's about having two tiers of provision; it should be about young people having access to the sport that they want to play, but it's also about understanding that there are young people in these communities who do want a different kind of offer. They still want to play football, they still want to be Gareth Bale, but, actually, that means playing on their games area with their friends rather than joining a club.

Okay. I'm not sure I agree with that analysis as it happens, but we can come back to that. Fiona—

Alun, quickly, forgive me a moment. Tom, did you want to come in on this still?

[Continues.]—and just pick up on one of the points that were made there by Mark? At the end of the answer to your first question, you talked about the importance of having facilities that are close to where people live, and I agree with that. I wonder what assessment you make of transport provision—whether that having decent quality transport provision overcomes that geographical problem. Or would you say that enthusiasm of people who want to get involved in sport does water down, even if transport was inconvenient, when you've got to travel to get there?

I think having access to good transport is clearly a positive. In terms of young people, all of our experience shows that most young people who access community sports provision in disadvantaged communities don't travel much further than a mile to do that, because, actually, some of the mindset of young people about where their community is means they might not be comfortable travelling five miles to the swimming pool, to pick up on the Member's point. So, yes, having better transport does help, but there are many other factors that determine whether or not young people feel comfortable engaging, and one of those is about, 'In my community, where I feel safe, with the people that I know locally.' So, it's one part of it, but there's more to it, I think.

I'll come back to Alun. I know Carolyn wants to come in. Carolyn, is it okay if Alun asks Fiona first and then we come back to you? Is that all right? Yes, great. Alun.

Yes, sorry— I'm always aware of people online. It's very much the same sort of question as I asked the witnesses here in the room: what do you see as the biggest barriers, in your experience, to participation amongst people living in disadvantaged areas, communities?

09:40

Thank you for the question. Just to kind of pick up on a couple of points that Mark made, in terms of disabled people generally, but also disabled people living in areas of deprivation, I think there is need for consideration around the format and the range of opportunity provided. Within sport-specific environments the provision is good, and for the most part it's accessible, but I think being able to diversify the format, which is that style consideration that Mark was giving, and being able to utilise other facilities that aren't necessarily as strongly associated with sport but are nevertheless accessible, is an option that for a lot of disabled people would be attractive, because sport in itself can be a barrier to sport. The 'Locked Out' report talks about institutionalised ableism within society, and I think we've definitely got that within sport in terms of the profile of sport, and access to role models for young disabled people is different than for non-disabled children and young people and adults. So, I think there is something about us addressing this kind of bigger, more fundamental issue that creates its own barriers, then being able to offer disabled children and young people and adults the opportunity to be active together with their friends, be in a specific space with other people who have a similar kind of impairment profile to them.

And then, to pick up on the point around transport, our experience is that disabled children and young people and adults will travel to the opportunity, but if they don't have that ready access to transport, and if that transport isn't accessible, that further compounds the challenges of being able to get to provision that already exists. So, I think there's fantastic work being done within each of the local authorities by officers and teams to deliver opportunity to disabled people, but we need to grow that by thinking a little bit differently and utilising different spaces and places that are accessible, and encouraging as great a range of opportunity to get there as well.

Okay. So, in terms of answering the question I asked, what are the barriers? I understand the discussion that can occur around these matters, but my question was more specific, I'm afraid. What would you see as the barriers to participation? I think you answered about transport, and I get that, but I wasn't clear in the rest of your response what you were saying in terms of how you would describe the barriers.

I think there are some wider societal barriers that impact disabled people's ability to get involved with team sports. I think there are access challenges, and there are the multiple considerations around rurality, et cetera, that mean that people can't get to places for activity. But also we know that there are other challenges for disabled people in terms of accessing physical activity in sport, in terms of their perception of what will happen if they become more active, as well. So, on the barriers, inevitably, cost is one of those barriers, and access is another significant barrier. So, where people are active, access is generally good; where people aren't active, then access is often one of the most significant barriers. Role models and being able to see people who can inspire and give disabled people the idea that sport is an offer that is for them is also a challenge and a barrier.

Fiona, I'm surprised you haven't mentioned things like facilities and specialised coaching.

Yes, in terms of the facilities, I think that kind of comes into the access considerations. So, there are some additional challenges around facilities and the accessibility of those facilities, albeit that that is being addressed and there is a great workforce who are really keen to look at how that can be resolved and where things can be located to overcome that particular challenge. It is definitely, definitely a component consideration. So, facilities become something that we do need to look at and to be able to really think, when we're planning where new facilities are developed or redeveloped, what that means for disabled people and how to best ensure access. 

09:45

—you made, Mark, about structured and unstructured sport? There has always been that choice between structured and unstructured sport. I've always enjoyed unstructured sport because I'm useless at structured sport. I've tried my best over the years. I've failed to play all my favourite sports, and so I enjoy playing unstructured sport. I enjoyed playing rugby, cricket, football, and all the rest of it, the same as the more young people nowadays. But I don't see the conflict, because you've always got, and you need to have, the pyramid, if you like, for people who have the talent to be able to progress, and you need to have that in place. And the one barrier—we talk about cost and the rest of it, and I understand the point that you make on that and I accept that, but the talent to run with the ball, to kick the ball or to hit the ball, or whatever it happens to be, or to run faster, jump higher, or whatever, is not something that is determined by personal wealth, it's physical aptitude and the rest of it as well, isn't it? But the ability then to progress can be determined by family wealth, essentially.

I was very taken by the story of the Paralympian who spoke about the work that her family did to support her in her swimming—moving to Swansea and to become a Paralympian and the rest of it. I was really taken by that, all of the family sacrifices that were made. Now, she was a Paralympian, but I think the same thing is true of all participants in professional sports. So, I don't understand that differential that you made between structured and unstructured activity. The unstructured activity I see as enjoyment and fun and physical activity that happens, and you do that. You play cricket—I play cricket with my son on the beach, and all the rest of it. And then you've got the structured amateur, semi-professional, or whatever it happens to be, sporting activities. So, you go to watch your team play and the rest of it. I don't see the conflict between that, and I don't see that it's necessarily an issue of disadvantage or advantage, it's about different parts of our society and how we operate as human beings. So, I'd be interested to understand how you think that this is about disadvantaged communities, why you think that differential is important. 

I think if you look at the way you've described the pathway or the pyramid, there are not enough sports clubs of different sports that are either based in disadvantaged communities or are drawing their membership from disadvantaged communities. And if you—

But that's about the actions and priorities of those clubs and sports, isn't it, and the attitude of the governing body, for example?

It is very much, and we've done some great work in Wales with governing bodies looking at that. But in order to develop the kind of physical literacy that you were talking about, firstly I think, as an ex-primary school teacher, I would say that schools are massively important in that, especially in disadvantaged communities. But actually, without a multisport offer in a disadvantaged community where there aren't sports clubs, the chances of that Paralympian going through and making it onto an elite pathway are very limited. And in our experience, there aren't enough multisport informal offers in disadvantaged communities in Wales to allow for what you're talking about, because to get the base, we have to give them somewhere to play when they're not in school, and that just isn't there. So, it's not necessarily about structured or unstructured, there are some brilliant sports clubs that are totally inclusive and reach into these communities, but equally if you want to play hockey, or you want to play netball, or you want to play some of the other sports that young people will want to play, those clubs are not often in those communities. And if they are they're not drawing, in our experience, when you look at their membership, from those communities. So, that's the real challenge, I think.

Thank you so much. We'll move on to Carolyn. Forgive me, Carolyn, I know you wanted to come in on something as well.

09:50

It's okay. It was just when you said about the importance of doorstep provision. So, I guess, just to encourage people into sports, you believe that doorstep play provision is really important, so that people can just access it themselves without parents, multi-use games areas as well, and a variety of facilities. But then, hearing what Alun was saying about if somebody's got a talent as well, I suppose it's being able to follow that talent through. How they can do that, really, then, and find that sports provision to grow that talent, I guess seems to be the issue. Am I right with that sort of—?

Claire, do you want to—?

The talent end of it is one of the issues, but I think it's important to recognise that some young people aren't participating in sport for that reason, and the motivation to be active—. All of the motivations need to be taken into account when we're talking about different offers. So, the talent end of things is something that we are working together with national governing bodies on, as Mark referenced there, and there are some brilliant examples of where community provision is then linking into what we describe as 'mainstream sport offers'. But then, at the other end of a continuum, we've got young people telling us that they want to go to a community setting to just be with their friends, and for a mental health reason, or a social isolation—. You know, those kinds of things, and the doorstep provision is very much about providing an offer that is tailored for the motivations of the young people that are accessing that place, which, as Fiona rightly said, might be a sport-specific facility, but it might not be—it might be a MUGA, as you described there, or it might be a car park that we use because the floodlights are on, and that's the best place in that community to be active. So, I guess you need to think about this as a continuum of offers, and not just about sport as a pathway to elite participation.

And before you go any further, did you want to ask the same thing of Fiona as well? 

Yes, please—I saw her nodding and sort of agreeing—if that's okay. So, yes, your thoughts on that as well please, Fiona.

Yes, agree. I think MUGAs is a really significant one. In Wrexham, there's some work ongoing with other charitable organisations to put accessible MUGAs in place, which are then able to be used in the community, within the broader community, ensuring that they're accessible. They've got Paralympic sports options marked up already, like boccia, so we're making sure that there's a good accessibility of spaces that aren't necessarily specifically associated with sport.

And I agree with Claire—the pathway, I think, is much longer than just sport. I think the example that referenced the Paralympic swimmer—she will be in programmes that are supported by the national governing body, Disability Sport Wales. StreetGames do a lot of work with national governing bodies in order to support their understanding of what an inclusive culture looks like within a sport national governing body, and it's how, therefore, you do support athletes or participants—[Inaudible.]—and getting as far through that support as possible. But we also need to give thought to how we extend that pathway into sport in the first place, and having those opportunities to be able to play, to be able to move in spaces with friends, with balls, without balls, with bats, without bats, is really important. 

And still, for disabled children and young people, the school offer is still a little bit variable in terms of whether children get really good, genuine access to being physically active, and having good access to physical education that helps them develop their physical literacy and competency.  

Okay, thank you. Okay, do you want to move on to my question on data? 

Okay, I've got a question on data. I don't know if you use data and if you feel that there is enough data available to be able to help provide information on where areas of deprivation are. And do you think that Sport Wales use that data effectively to fund areas where support is needed as well?  

We do use data; it's absolutely fundamental to everything we do. I think there are some real positives in the data that Sport Wales hold. So, the school sport survey is obviously a really valuable data set. It is just a snapshot, in some respects, and one of the things that I think could be better is, when you look at a comparator like the active lives survey, for example, in England, particularly for children and young people, there's not just the data about participation, socioeconomic group, background, those kinds of things, there's also data about their attitudes to sport and how they feel about sport.

I know during the pandemic that Sport Wales used the Savanta ComRes survey, and that yielded a body of data that was really helpful, then, to look at which populations, which communities are accessing sport, which aren't, where the drop-offs are happening. So, I think it can be better. I think the other thing is about the access to that data. Can we actually have it in an open way so that organisations like ourselves can really use it? Because the more we can interrogate and understand what that's like in a community in north Wales or west Wales, the better placed we are then to support that community. 

And then just the final thing I suppose I'd say is there are so many other data sources about disadvantaged communities, from health, from education, from all of the other areas of Government, and from our point of view, drawing those together, along with local intelligence from local people—because that's another source that we maybe don't tap into as much as we should—you can then put sports data alongside all the other data sets and really find ways to develop the right interventions.

09:55

Is there not a play survey as well that gathers data? There used to be, I think, through local authorities. I don't know if that still takes place, that data gathering. Can you tell me, the Sport Wales survey through schools—does that go to high schools or just primary schools?

It does go to high schools, and the school sport survey is a brilliant piece of the puzzle when it comes to data. The first part of your question around whether Sport Wales use the data—they've recently changed the model, which I know was talked about in the last session, around how they're using that data to fund NGBs differently. The model for national partners, which we and Disability Sport Wales are classed as, is also changing but not utilising the data in the same way as national governing bodies, because it doesn't exist for our type of work. So, there's a gap there, in our opinion, in how you can use the data to inform funding decisions, if we're being blunt about it.

And to Mark's point, the all-round approach to data is very important to get a really good picture of how it can be utilised locally. Local authorities do a really good job of that and have really good access, and there are a number of examples of local authorities that use data brilliantly to help inform decisions. But if you then think about all of the providers of sport and physical activity, from your national governing body, to your local authority or leisure trust, they've got access to it, but then think about a really small community organisation that delivers sport, how accessible is that data to them and how useable and user friendly is it to them to help make their localised decisions, which is where the most impact can be had in this area of work?

Fiona, do you want to come in on that, regarding data?

Yes, I think just to pick up on—thank you—the intersectionality of the data. I think, as Claire and Mark both allude to, it's being able to utilise that data in its fullest sense and, where appropriate, to be able to share insight, learning and understanding of the data, therefore, with other partners in the sector who have knowledge, skills and experience about working with particular communities or particular populations of communities. In terms of the comparability of the way that we collect data as well, how we ascertain socioeconomic position and free school meals or index of multiple deprivation, and, where the school sport survey is concerned, how that gathers data, because of the environment in which the data was gathered from, it's how it then becomes comparable to the data held by other organisations.

As Claire said, the school sport survey is a really significant tool in understanding what is happening and what the appetite for what could be happening is. I think there's still a lot of work, and Disability Sport Wales are very aware of this, and are working with partners proactively on it to ensure that the voices of diverse communities are accurately captured within that data. So, from our particular perspective, it's making sure that disabled children and young people actively can tell Sport Wales and, therefore, the sector about what they're doing and what they would like to do, and therefore, being able to delve deeper into that and understand what are the additional intersectional considerations that we might need to better understand in order to be able to use that resourcing effectively, which is incredibly important.

10:00

I was told that disability basketball was growing. My son likes basketball, and he tells me it's the fastest growing sport. And then, I see it growing across north Wales, and we have doorstep play through MUGAs. But then, the survey is not capturing it; it's not part of the top-14 sports. So, that's just my personal opinion, and I just wondered what was happening there, but that's by the by.

I think when you start to differentiate within a sport—. Basketball is a great example because you've got the running version of the game where there is really significant growth, and a wheelchair basketball version of the game. In north Wales, there's a fantastic set-up of a series of clubs and a regional league and they feed very effectively through to talent and performance pathways. They develop players incredibly well and there is huge growth, but with that growth comes a requirement for resourcing, as in wheelchairs for children and young people to play in. So, young people who would be eligible to play wheelchair basketball may not be permanent wheelchair users themselves, but they would need a wheelchair to be able to play the sport. So, there needs to be a provision of specific equipment.

So, I guess, winding back to the original question around barriers, equipment in some disabled people's experiences will become a challenge that needs overcoming. And, in some cases, that's about providing it and being able to move it around a region or a local authority, or a specific space. But in others, it's about supporting families to be able to support their young people, their children, growing with that kind of equipment need as well, so prosthetic limbs, for example. So, yes, we know that there's growth, but we know that there are challenges as well in terms of providing, as well as understanding what that growth looks like, when you start to delve into specific versions of that sport for, in this case, disabled people.

Ocê. Grêt. Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen at Tom Giffard. 

Okay. Great. We'll move on to Tom Giffard.

Thanks, Delyth. Can I ask about the impact of the pandemic, and how participation gaps have widened during the pandemic, and what you make of those challenges?

Shall I go first?

So, I think we all know, don't we, that disadvantaged areas have really borne the brunt of COVID, and when you look at things like the death rate, the unemployment effects of it, it's those families and, from our point of view, those children and young people that have probably seen the worst effects of COVID. When we've talked to young people—and we've done a lot of that during and since the pandemic—they've talked about the things that are affecting their participation in sport. And, undoubtedly, participation levels have dropped in disadvantaged communities as a result of the pandemic. Young people are talking about loneliness; they're talking about poor mental health and fear of coming out into their communities. They're obviously, from a household perspective, under severe financial pressure. During the pandemic as well, a lot of the young people we talked to talked about the impact of lockdown on things like family breakdown, so, how challenging it is then for their parents to give them the support they need to get involved in sport.

And, yet, on the other side of that, those who are starting to come back, and those organisations we're talking to, really see sport as part of the social recovery for young people. So, I was talking to an organisation the other day who were saying that their very loud and gregarious 16-year-old boys who would turn up for a football session pre-pandemic are coming in and basically standing around the edge, not talking to each other, not interacting. And, so, there is a journey, I think, to get young people in these communities back into sport. Some of them will have leapt at it; others are struggling with some of the barriers I've just described.

10:05

Yes. I think we're understanding it very similarly, in terms of we know that the impact of the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on disabled people, we know that there are additional considerations that disabled people are contending with, and the 'Locked Out' report goes into a lot of detail around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled populations generally, across a whole range of considerations, including socioeconomic impacts. In terms of sport, we're definitely seeing a slower pace of return to clubs and activities. In some part, that's also linked to a change in approach from volunteers. During that period, a number of volunteers were, obviously, removed from the types of activity that they were used to providing, and haven't necessarily returned to facilitating activity. However, there are also really great examples of where physical activity is returning to pre-pandemic levels. During the pandemic, there was an additional consideration, I suppose, around digital accessibility, and then, linked to that, digital poverty, which would have enabled people to stay active and to stay engaged, with either their club or their coaches, or the people that they were active with in those environments. There was an additional level of challenge, I suppose, that linked to impairment and accessibility and socioeconomic position—[Inaudible.]

Oh, Tom, forgive me—I think Claire just wants to come in on that quickly.

Sorry, just on the digital end of things, and, as Fiona rightly said there, during the pandemic, there were some fantastic examples of where things went online and made things accessible during restrictions and lockdown. I guess one of the patterns that we're still seeing now around provision that has come back is the need to book online before you enter a facility or a place or a session. I understand why providers are doing that, but, if in your household you've only got one device and minimal data or no access to Wi-Fi, how do you book on the session? You can't, or it's very difficult. So, there's an additional barrier there to getting active again before you've even gone to a place that is providing physical activity. I guess the point that we're making here is, whilst the digital end of things has been, like I said, positive in some places, it's now providing an additional barrier in others to preventing people from getting active when they want to, if they simply can't book online. I guess a lot of providers are taking for granted that that is an easy thing to do, but it isn't for everyone. So, I just wanted to make that point.

Thank you, Claire. Thank you. That's really helpful. Tom.

And actually it touches on the other thing I wanted to ask you all, which is almost the opposite question to the one I previously asked, which is: are there any positives you've taken away from the pandemic? I know it sounds like an odd thing to say, but has it taught you anything new or allowed you to do things differently that can improve participation in disadvantaged communities?

If I take that, just an example that I can share around, conversely, just picking up on Claire's outgoing point around digital accessibility, what we did notice was that we had a programme running within Wrexham, which was the Get Out, Get Active programme, the intention of which is to engage the least active of the inactive, and it's about being active together, and we noticed that, through the online activity, we were actually getting increased numbers of women and girls, from disabled and non-disabled communities, being active together online, because they could leave their cameras off. So, as long as they had access to digital, then there was something within this that was about them being guided by somebody in the room, the virtual room, to deliver a physical activity session—yoga, pilates, zumba. They weren't just watching it on YouTube or whatever, but they could be invisible—their bodies weren't being consumed, they didn't have to be good at it, they could just join in. And I think that's something that was definitely a silver lining and a piece of learning that Disability Sport Wales took away from that period of time.

10:10

Just, I suppose, linked to my earlier point about workforce, I think there were some incredibly valuable opportunities when we were in lockdown to bring together coaches, leaders, volunteers from right across Wales, both to train together, learn together, but also share ideas. And one of the things that is hard, as you all know, in Wales is getting a network of organisations together if it takes you a few hours to get from north to south, but actually that move to online is a great opportunity for people from the far north of Wales to share with people from south Wales, and we've kept that networking training element of what we do as a really strong part of our offer.

Another good example of things that we saw, particularly during the height of the pandemic, was around how families were encouraged to get active together at home in a way that perhaps they weren't before. So, we've got loads of examples, particularly through our family engagement project, around activity-at-home packs and the concept of sport libraries, of borrowing equipment in the same way that you would borrow a book from a library, and providing the tools for families to be active together in whatever space they have, and not making the assumption that every household has got a big garden or a green space that they can use, but things that a family could do together in a smaller living room or on a balcony space, for example, which have been fantastic.

And on the other end of the scale, we saw a lot more outreach programmes to link with young people that perhaps weren't getting support from elsewhere and that detached youth work offer, using sport as a tool, which has now presented new opportunities for new sustained activity post lockdown, which has been a fantastic—I mean, if you can call it a fantastic outcome of the pandemic. Obviously, the pandemic has been awful, but there have been some really good opportunities to connect locally in a way that there wouldn't have been before. And I think, because some of the traditional facilities that would always have been used—. So, if we take north Wales as an example, and Deeside leisure centre turning into a field hospital, Aura leisure, who provide an awful lot of what we call doorstep sport, had to find wholly new places to provide activities since the lockdowns and they've now engaged with a whole new audience of people who probably wouldn't have come through the door otherwise. So, there are some silver linings, I guess, in communities where things have had to be done differently and have resulted in better outcomes. 

Yes, I just wanted to ask in terms of the challenge of being able to apply some of that learning, because obviously with a return to facilities opening and so on, I'm guessing the resource aspect hasn't changed to be able to provide both. So, how much of a challenge is it in terms of adapting the way of working? And also, I just wondered whether you have any stats in terms of digital exclusion, because you've emphasised if people didn't have access to digital and the challenges if you've run out of credit or are just reliant on data on your phone to access digital. I can see that it works if you have that, but we know from so many families now, with the cost-of-living crisis, that internet access is one of the things that is really impacting and we've seen that during the pandemic. So, just in terms of the focus of this inquiry in particular, is there data in terms of which socioeconomic groups engaged more online or not? I'm just interested to know and I'm also conscious we're running out of time as well—sorry, Cadeirydd.

Na, mae'n iawn.

No, it's okay.

If anyone's got a brief—. If you could write to us with further information or if you wanted to address that briefly now, or would you feel more comfortable looking into that and then writing to us? Would that be—?

Yes, we'd rather that.

Great, that would be fantastic.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am hwnna.

Thank you very much for that.

And Fiona, if there's anything that you would like to write to us on that, that would be very helpful, please, as well. Fantastic.

Diolch am hynna, Heledd—mae hwnna’n bwysig. Mae amser wedi ein trechu ni, fel roedd Heledd yn ei ddweud. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am eich tystiolaeth y bore yma. Bydd rhai pethau ychwanegol y byddwn ni eisiau gofyn i chi yn ysgrifenedig, felly os yw'n ocê, byddwn yn ysgrifennu atoch chi gydag ychydig mwy o gwestiynau a bydd hefyd transgript o'r hyn rŷch chi wedi'i ddweud yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi i'w wirio hefyd. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn am y dystiolaeth a hefyd am beth rŷch chi wedi'i ddanfon atom ni yn ysgrifenedig yn barod. Mae e wir yn help mawr i'n hymgynghoriad. Diolch yn fawr iawn am hynna. Diolch.

Thank you for that, Heledd—that's important. Time has beaten us, as Heledd suggested. Thank you very much for your evidence this morning. There are a few additional questions that we'd like to ask you in writing, so if it's okay, we will write to you with a few more questions and there'll also be a transcript of what you said that will be sent to you so that you can check it. But thank you very much for your evidence and also for the written evidence that you'd already provided to us. It is a real help to our inquiry. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. Aelodau, we'll now take a break until 10:25.

Byddwn ni yn awr yn cymryd egwyl fer. Diolch.

We will now take a short break. Thank you.

10:15

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:15 a 10:25.

The meeting adjourned between 10:15 and 10:25.

10:25
3. Ymchwiliad i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig: Sesiwn dystiolaeth gydag elusennau chwaraeon (2)
3. Inquiry into participation in sport in disadvantaged areas: Evidence session with sport charities (2)

Croeso nôl i'n hymchwiliad i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig. Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen nawr at ein hail sesiwn dystiolaeth heddiw. Gwnaf i ofyn i Gary Lewis a Jo Jones i gyflwyno eu hunain ar gyfer y record yn gyntaf, ac wedyn gwnaf i fynd at Emily Reynolds ar-lein. Gwnaf i fynd at Gary a Jo yn gyntaf.

Welcome back to our inquiry into participation in sport in disadvantaged areas. We move on now to our second evidence session today. I'll ask Gary Lewis and Jo Jones to introduce themselves for the record first of all, and then I'll go to Emily Reynolds online. Gary and Jo first.

Gary Lewis, cyfarwyddwr chwaraeon a phrentisiaethau'r Urdd.

I'm Gary Lewis, sports and apprenticeships director for Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

Jo Jones, rheolwr rhanbarthol chwaraeon de Cymru.

Jo Jones, regional manager for sport in south Wales.

Emily Reynolds, national programmes director at the Youth Sport Trust.

Ffantastig. Mae'n hyfryd i'ch cael chi i gyd gyda ni y bore yma. Dŷn ni'n fyr o amser, felly fe wnawn ni symud yn syth ymlaen at y cwestiynau, os yw hynny'n ocê. Fe wnawn ni fynd yn gyntaf at Alun Davies.

Fantastic. It's great to have you all with us this morning. We're short of time so we'll move straight into questions, if that's okay. We'll go first to Alun Davies.

Diolch yn fawr. Liciwn i ofyn ichi amboutu'r pethau sy'n rhwystro pobl rhag cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon. Dŷn ni'n sôn am gymunedau difreintiedig yn y cyd-destun fan hyn. So, beth, yn eich barn chi, ydy'r pethau sy'n rhwystro pobl rhag cymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon?

Thank you very much. I'd like to ask you about the barriers to participation in sport. We're talking about deprived communities in this context. So, in your view, what are the barriers to participation in sport?

Os gwnaf i ddechrau, Jo. Y prif un i ni ydy cyfleusterau, dwi'n meddwl, yn enwedig i gael yr access i'r cyfleusterau ar ôl ysgol, os maen nhw'n ysgolion dŷn ni'n eu defnyddio, neu ganolfannau hamdden, achos maen nhw i gyd yn gweithio'n hollol wahanol ar draws Cymru. So, hynny ydy un o'r pethau dwi'n meddwl bod rhaid inni—

If I can start, first of all. The main one for us is facilities, I think, in particular to get the access to the facilities after schools, if they're schools that we use, or leisure centres, because they all work differently across Wales. So, that is one of the things that I think we need to—

Sori, gaf i eich stopio chi yn fanna? Rŷch chi'n dweud bod awdurdodau lleol yn gweithredu yn wahanol, so oes modd ichi roi enghraifft o awdurdod sy'n gweithio'n dda, ac un sydd ddim? Efallai nad ydych chi ddim eisiau ateb yr ail gwestiwn—dwi'n derbyn hynny.

Sorry, could I just stop you there? You say that local authorities operate differently, so can you give us an example of a local authority that works well and one that doesn't? Perhaps you won't want to answer the second question—I can accept that.

Er enghraifft, rydyn ni'n gweithio'n agos iawn yng Nghaerdydd efo GLL. Maen nhw'n wych i weithio efo nhw. Maen nhw'n gweld yr angen i weithio efo mudiadau tu allan i ddatblygu cyfleoedd i bobl ifanc. So, rydyn ni'n gwneud lot fawr efo nhw ac rydyn ni wedi ehangu ar hwnna rŵan lle rydyn ni wedi mynd i mewn i bartneriaeth efo nhw i gynnig cyfleoedd prentisiaethau drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg hefyd yn y canolfannau hamdden, sydd yn wych, i roi'r cyfle yna. Mae Pen-y-bont hefyd yn gyngor rydyn ni rili yn gweithio'n agos iawn efo fo. Hwnna ydy un o'r pethau pwysicaf, dwi'n meddwl, hefyd. Rydyn ni'n sôn am gyfleusterau, ond hefyd collaboration rhwng mudiadau. Mae mor bwysig. Rydyn ni i gyd yn gweithio mewn seilos weithiau a ddim yn siarad efo'n gilydd, a dwi'n meddwl bod rhaid inni siarad efo'n gilydd yn well i wneud yn siŵr bod y ddarpariaeth yna i'r bobl ifanc.

Hwyrach dydyn ni ddim yn sôn amdano, ond sustainability hefyd ydy'r peth i fi sydd yn rili, rili bwysig hefyd, ac mae yna gost. Fe wnaf i roi'r enghraifft o'r Winter of Well-being. Mae'r Winter of Well-being wedi bod yn wych fel cynllun, ac rydyn ni wedi ehangu. Mae gennym ni staff drwy Gymru i gyd, so rydyn ni wedi ehangu reit ar draws Cymru ac rydyn ni wedi cynnig pethau mewn llefydd newydd am y tro cyntaf. Er enghraifft, rydyn ni'n gwneud lot yn ne Meirionnydd. Os wyt ti'n sôn am Feirionnydd, rydyn ni'n gwneud pethau ym Mlaenau Ffestiniog, yn Nhywyn, mewn llefydd dydyn ni ddim rili wedi gweithredu lot ynddynt o'r blaen. Rydyn ni wedi cynnig hwn am ddim. So, wedyn, mae hi arnom ni, ar ôl i'r Winter of Well-being orffen, i greu y sustainability yma. Sut ydyn ni'n gwneud hynny? Hwnnw ydy'r cwestiwn mawr i fi: sut ydyn ni'n gweithredu ar hwnna ar ôl i'r arian yna stopio? Dwi'n meddwl bod rhaid inni gael rhyw fath o blan hirdymor efo'r Llywodraeth, Chwaraeon Cymru, sydd yn grêt efo ni—maen nhw'n gefnogol iawn—ond mae'n rhaid inni gael y bartneriaeth yna a'r collaboration rhwng y mudiadau.

For example, we work very closely in Cardiff with GLL. They're excellent to work with. They see the need to work with organisations outside to develop opportunities for young people. So, we do a lot with them, and we've expanded that so we've now gone into partnership and we offer apprenticeship opportunities through the medium of Welsh also in the leisure centres, and that's excellent for opportunities. Bridgend is also a council that we work really, really closely with. That is one of the most important things as well. We're talking about facilities but also collaboration between organisations. It's so important. We're all working in silos at times and we don't speak to each other, but I think we need to speak to each other better to ensure that the provision is there for young people.

Something else, also, that perhaps we don't mention, is sustainability, and to me that is something that's very, very important as well, and there is a cost. I'll give you an example of the Winter of Well-being. The Winter of Well-being has been fantastic as a scheme, and we have expanded that. We have got staff all over Wales, so we've expanded right across Wales, and we've offered things in new places for the first time. For example, we do a lot in south Meirionnydd, but we have been doing things in Blaenau Ffestiniog, in Tywyn, in places where we really haven't been operating before. We've been offering this free. And so when the Winter of Well-being comes to an end, we need to create the sustainability. So, how do we do that? That is the big question for me, and how do we act on that after that funding comes to an end. I think we need to have some sort of long-term plan with the Government, with Sport Wales, who are great with us—they're very supportive—but we really need that partnership and a collaboration between the organisations.

Jest i ddilyn ymlaen o Gary yn y fanna o ran yr elfen collaborations, mae gen i enghraifft arall o hynny. Yn ddiweddar iawn, dŷn ni newydd gychwyn partneriaeth dda iawn gyda dwy ysgol ym Merthyr Tudful, sy'n ffantastig i ni, sy'n mynd i'n galluogi ni nawr wrth symud ymlaen yn ystod pob hanner tymor i redeg darpariaeth allan o'r ysgolion hynny. Mae'r ysgolion hynny'n ein cefnogi ni, a does dim cost, sydd yn ffantastig. So, dŷn ni wir yn gallu targedu ardaloedd fel hynny.

Just to follow on from Gary's point on collaboration there, I have another example of that. Very recently we've just established a very strong partnership with two schools in Merthyr Tydfil, which is excellent for us and will enable us now in moving forward during every half term to run out-of-school provisions and use those school facilities. Those schools support us, and there is no cost attached to that, which is excellent. So, we can really target those areas.

10:30

I ateb ail ran dy gwestiwn di, hwyrach bod yna un cyngor sydd ddim cystal, lle rydyn ni'n cael problemau—dim problemau efo'r cyngor, ond problem efo'r ffordd maen nhw wedi'u strwythuro; dwi ddim yn gwybod ai iechyd a diogelwch ydy o, neu beth. Er enghraifft, os ydyn ni eisiau cynnig gwasanaeth yn amser gwyliau yn Abertawe, mae'n rhaid i ni gael aelod o staff y cyngor sir yn bresennol ar y lleoliad trwy'r amser. Os dydyn ni ddim yn gallu talu aelod o staff y cyngor i fod ar y safle, mae'r plant yna yn methu allan ar ein gwasanaeth ni drwy'r gwyliau. So, mae hwnna'n rhwystr eithaf mawr inni.

To answer the second part of your question, perhaps there's one council that isn't as good and where we have problems—not problems with the council, but a problem perhaps in the way they're structured; I don't know whether it's health and safety or what. For example, if we want to offer a service during holidays in Swansea, we have to have a member of staff from the council who is present in the setting at all times. If we can't pay a member of staff from the council to be on site, those children are missing out on our services through the holiday. So, that is something that is quite a big barrier for us.

Emily, ŷch chi eisiau dod i mewn ar hyn hefyd?

Emily, did you want to come in on this?

Yes. I think from the context of the Youth Sport Trust, in terms of barriers, gender barriers still are really significant in the provision of physical education and school sport. I think in the context of this conversation, as a charity, we work in and through education, and I think one of the biggest barriers that's been found is the time allocated to physical education as we go through the stages of school life. From primary through to secondary, there's a reduction in it. And also, the variety of opportunities that are provided in different schools is under the guise of the headteacher and the leadership team, and therefore, there are inconsistencies. So, it's not necessarily a barrier specifically associated to areas of disadvantage, but on the premise of areas of disadvantage being under pressure to perform in numeracy and literacy and the wider outcomes of the school, sometimes physical education and school sport is not prioritised, and then the knock-on consequence of that is that young people from areas of disadvantage get fewer opportunities in school, which is a place where every child goes, and that has a knock-on consequence as we leave the school site.

Mae gen i ddiddordeb yn hynny, fel mae'n digwydd. Beth dwi'n gweld yw mai cyfleusterau, ac access i gyfleusterau, ydy un o'r prif bethau sy'n efallai gwahaniaethu cymuned fel yr un dwi'n ei chynrychioli ym Mlaenau Gwent a chymuned fan hyn yng Nghaerdydd. Dŷch chi'n gweld hynny mewn chwaraeon gwahanol. So, ydych chi'n gweithredu yn wahanol mewn ardal megis Blaenau Gwent neu Ferthyr—roeddech chi wedi rhoi'r enghraifft o Ferthyr—nag ydych chi mewn rhywle fel y brifddinas?

I've got an interest in that, as it happens. What I see is that facilities, and access to facilities, is one of the main things that perhaps differentiates communities like the one I represent in Blaenau Gwent and communities here in Cardiff. You see that in the different sports. So, do you operate differently in areas such as Blaenau Gwent or Merthyr—you've given an example of Merthyr—than you do in somewhere such as the capital city?

Yn bendant, ydyn. Beth rydyn ni wedi'i ddysgu dros y blynyddoedd mewn chwaraeon yw it's not a one-size-fits-all trwy pob sir. Rydyn ni'n lwcus iawn; oherwydd ein bod ni wedi bod yn rhedeg cynllun prentisiaethau am flynyddoedd, mae gennym ni staff chwaraeon ar draws pob sir ar hyn o bryd, ac mae gennym ni dros 40 o staff sy'n gweithredu fel apprentices hefyd bob dydd ar y llawr. Yng Nghaerdydd, mae'r anghenion yn hollol wahanol. Rydyn ni'n gallu gweithio yn y cymunedau'n haws. Os ydyn ni'n gweithio ym Mlaenau Gwent, er enghraifft, hwyrach rhaid i'r plant drafaelu i mewn i'r ysgol, so mae'n hollol wahanol beth rydyn ni'n gallu cynnig a'r amser rydyn ni'n gallu ei gynnig o. Rydyn ni'n trio rhoi'r cyfle i neud yr un un pethau, ond mae'n wahanol, y ffordd rydyn ni'n gallu ei ddatblygu fo a'i gynnig o. Roedd y pwynt olaf yn rili, rili ddiddorol. Rydyn ni wedi bod yn sôn ers blynyddoedd am collaboration rhwng education and sport; wel, mae'n rhaid iddo fo rili, rili newid i gael gwared o hwn. Mae'n rhaid i'r ysgolion, sydd efo cyfleusterau rili da ar hyn o bryd, lot ohonyn nhw, agor eu drysau ar ôl 15:30 heb gostio ffortiwn, ac ar benwythnosau. Maen nhw'n lleol i bobl ifanc. Mae'n rhaid iddyn nhw hefyd gael identification mewn rhywle fel yna y tu allan i'r addysg a thu allan i'r ysgol. Mi wnaiff hwnna rili, rili helpu, dwi'n meddwl.

Most certainly, yes. What we've learnt over the years is that it's not a one-size-fits-all in terms of sport across all counties. We are very fortunate; because we've been running an apprenticeship programme for many years, we have staff across all counties. We have over 40 staff members and there are also apprentices working on the ground too. In Cardiff, the needs are clearly very different. We can work in communities more easily. If we were working in Blaenau Gwent, for example, then children have to travel into school, so it's very different in terms of what we can provide and when we can make that provision. We're trying to give children the opportunities to do the same things, but there are different ways in which we can offer it and provide it. That final point was very interesting indeed. For years we've been talking about collaboration between education and sport; well, it really has to change to deal with this issue. Schools do have excellent facilities at the moment, and they have to open their doors after 15:30 without it costing a fortune, and it needs to be available on weekends too. They're local to young people. They also need to have identification with those locations outside education, outside the school day. That would really help. 

A dŷch chi'n dweud bod hynny ddim yn digwydd.

And you're saying that that's not happening. 

Mae e'n digwydd, ond mae'n rhaid inni dalu. Rwyt ti'n sôn am ffortiwn i rentu AstroTurf ar ôl ysgol, neu gyfleusterau gym, neu unrhyw beth. Beth rydyn ni'n trio ei wneud ydy cydweithio'n agos iawn efo'r ysgol. Mae gennym ni system gwirfoddoli rili da. Rydyn ni'n cynnig cyfleoedd gwirfoddoli i'r oedran uwch yn yr ysgol, ac maen nhw wedyn yn gallu ein helpu ni a chydweithio ar y clybiau. Dwi'n meddwl ei fod yn gweithio'n dda mewn rhai llefydd. Beth oedd yn rili wych oedd ddaru ni weithio efo ysgol Abertyleri fel rhan o'r extending the school day. Ddaru ni redeg profiad gwych yn fanna ar draws y tri seit yn Abertyleri. Ddaru ni redeg 10 wythnos efo hwnna, ac mae hwnna wedi mynd yn wych. Jo.

It is happening, but we do have to pay for it. It's a very expensive thing to rent AstroTurf after school or to use gym facilities. What we try and do is to work very closely with schools. We have an excellent volunteering system. We offer volunteering opportunities to the older age groups in the school, and then they can help us and work with our clubs, and I think it works well in some places. What was excellent was that we worked with a school in Abertillery as part of extending the school day. There was an excellent experience there across the three sites in Abertillery. We ran that for 10 weeks, and that went excellently. Jo.

10:35

Do. Jest ar hynny, fe wnaethon ni redeg un o'n cynlluniau Chwarae yn Gymraeg ni. Mae hynny wedi bod yn huge yn ddiweddar iawn ar gyfer ysgolion ail iaith, ac yn enwedig ysgolion Cymraeg. Bwriad hynny yw datblygu'r iaith Gymraeg ar draws yr ysgol ac yn y cymunedau.

Fel roedd Gary'n sôn, fe wnaethon ni redeg cynllun 10 wythnos gydag Abertyleri. Un o'u targedau nhw oedd, yn amlwg, extending the school day, ond roedden nhw wir yn edrych ar ffyrdd o ddatblygu'r iaith Gymraeg. Mae wedi bod yn rhedeg am gwpwl o flynyddoedd ers hynny. Fe wnaethon ni wir edrych ar sut ydyn ni'n gallu rhoi'r un gefnogaeth i'r ysgolion ail iaith ag ydym ni'n ei rhoi i'r ysgolion Cymraeg. Mae'r prosiect yma wedi bod yn ffantastig. Fe wnaethon ni ei dreialu dros gyfnod o 10 wythnos. Mae tri champws gydag Abertyleri, so roedd dau aelod o staff gyda ni, gydag un aelod o staff o fewn yr ysgol, yn cylchdroi yn wythnosol er mwyn rhoi'r cyfle hwnnw i'r plant hynny. Mae hwnna wedi dod yn bartneriaeth wych nawr. Dŷn ni wedi bod yn gweithio gyda nhw yn ddiweddar iawn yn rhedeg sesiynau BMX fel rhan o godi ymwybyddiaeth ar gyfer—a dwi'n siŵr y gwnaiff Gary ddod ymlaen i hynny mewn bach—y digwyddiad gemau stryd sy'n dod i fyny.

So, mae hwn yn arfer da sydd wedi rili gweithio dros yr wythnosau diwethaf. Ac eto, dŷn ni'n mynd nôl i'r collaboration, a dyna'n wir sydd angen. Mae'n digwydd mewn ardaloedd eraill—mae Caerffili yn enghraifft ffantastig. Mae wir gyda ni gyswllt da gyda'r ysgolion cynradd fanna, ac maen nhw wir yn cefnogi, sydd yn ein galluogi ni i redeg darpariaeth allan o'r ysgolion hynny ar gyfer plant a phobl ifanc yr ardal.

Yes. Just on that, we ran one of our Chwarae yn Gymraeg schemes. That has been huge for second-language schools and Welsh-medium schools. The intention is to develop the Welsh language across the school and the community. 

As Gary mentioned, we ran a 10-week scheme with Abertillery. One of their targets, clearly, was extending the school day, but they were really looking at ways of developing the Welsh language. It's been running for a few years. We really looked at how we could provide the same support for schools with Welsh as a second language and for Welsh-medium schools. This was a fantastic project, and we trialled it for 10 weeks. They've got three campuses in Abertillery, so we had two members of staff, with one member of staff with the school, rotating on a weekly basis to provide the opportunity for those children. That has developed into an excellent partnership. We've been working with them recently running BMX sessions as part of raising awareness—and I'm sure Gary will come on to that—regarding the street games event. 

So, this is really good practice that's worked over the last few weeks. And again, we go back to the collaboration, and that is what's really required. It's also happening in other areas—Caerphilly is a fantastic example. We've got good links with primary schools there, and they really do support and enable us to run out-of-school provision there for children and young people in the area.

Gaf i ddod nôl atoch chi? Mae Abertyleri yn enghraifft dda, ac mae Meryl a'i thîm wedi gwneud gwaith arbennig yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf yn Abertyleri. Ac mae Abertyleri, wrth gwrs, yn rhannu cyfleusterau gyda'r ganolfan hamdden leol, fel sy'n digwydd yn Nhredegar a Glynebwy hefyd, a dwi'n cymryd ei fod e'n digwydd mewn mannau eraill yn y wlad. Ond pan dwi'n siarad gyda grwpiau a chlybiau yn Abertyleri a llefydd eraill, yn siarad gyda'r clybiau lleol—y clwb pêl-droed, jest i ddefnyddio enghraifft sydd yn y newyddion ar hyn o bryd—beth maen nhw'n ei ddweud wrthyf fi yw does ganddyn nhw ddim yr adnoddau i fuddsoddi yn y cyfleusterau sydd eu hangen arnyn nhw: ystafelloedd newid, y cae ei hun, y cyfleusterau sydd eu hangen i gymryd rhan yn y gynghrair Gymreig. Ydych chi'n gweld hynny yn eich gwaith chi, ac ydych chi'n gweithio gyda'r byrddau rheoli chwaraeon gwahanol i wella adnoddau, ac yn cydweithio gyda Chwaraeon Cymru i fuddsoddi mewn adnoddau a chyfleusterau gwahanol mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig?

Can I come back to you? Abertillery is a good example, and Meryl's done excellent work over the last few years in Abertillery. And, of course, they do share facilities with the local leisure centre, as happens in Tredegar and Ebbw Vale too, and I assume it happens elsewhere too. But when I speak to groups and clubs in Abertillery and elsewhere, and when I speak to local clubs—the football club, for example, which is very pertinent at the moment—what they tell me is that they don't have the resources to invest in the facilities they need: changing rooms, the pitches themselves, the facilities that are needed so that they can participate in the league structure. Do you see that in your day-to-day work, and are you working with the boards of the different sports to improve facilities, and working with Sport Wales too in order to invest in different facilities and resources in deprived areas?

Rydyn ni'n cydweithio'n agos efo'r cyrff. Rydyn ni'n gweithio'n agos efo Undeb Rygbi Cymru a'r FAW Trust. Ond, efo cyfleusterau, dydy o ddim rili'n rhan o beth rydyn ni'n ei wneud, oherwydd rydyn ni jest yn prynu i mewn i gyfleusterau ar draws Cymru. Rydyn ni bendant yn gweld yr angen i wella ambell gyfleuster, ond mae'r cyfleusterau allan yna. Maen nhw yn yr ysgolion i gyd. Mae yna ysgolion ym mhob man sy'n cau drysau ar ôl 4 o'r gloch, ac mae yna gaeau, mae yna gampfeydd sydd ddim yn cael eu defnyddio. So, rydyn ni wir, wir angen y collaboration yma rhwng ysgolion, neu rhwng addysg, a chwaraeon. Fe wnaiff e wir ddatrys y problemau yma, dwi'n teimlo. Rydyn—

We do collaborate with other bodies. We work closely with the Welsh Rugby Union and the FAW Trust. But regarding facilities, it's not really part of what we're doing, because we just buy in to facilities across Wales. We definitely see the need to improve some facilities, but the facilities are there. They're in all our schools. There are schools everywhere, they close their doors after 4 o'clock, and there are fields, there are gyms that are not being used. So, we really need that collaboration that we've been talking about between schools, or education, and sport, to tackle these problems, I think. We—

Maddeuwch—. O, sori. Na, gorffennwch y frawddeg, plis.

Forgive—. Oh, sorry. No, do finish the sentence.

Rydyn ni wedi bod yn sôn ers blynyddoedd amdano fe, a dwi jest yn teimlo ein bod ni mewn sefyllfa rŵan, dwi'n meddwl, lle mae ysgolion bendant eisiau gweld y plant yn cael y cyfleoedd. Mae'r lleoliadau yna, mae yna ddigon o gwmnïau neu fudiadau yn awyddus iawn i weithredu, so dwi'n teimlo bod angen hynny rŵan i roi cyfleoedd i glybiau lleol ddefnyddio'r cyfleusterau. Beth sy'n bod efo defnyddio ysgol ar gyfer sesiynau hyfforddi? Dydyn nhw ddim yn cael eu defnyddio digon.

We've been mentioning this for years, and I just feel that we're in a position now, I think, where schools definitely want to see the children have the opportunities. The settings are there, there are plenty of companies or organisations that are keen to act, so I feel that there is a need for that now to provide opportunities for local clubs to use these facilities. What's wrong with using a school for training sessions? They're not being used enough.

10:40

Diolch. Mae Heledd eisiau dod i mewn ar hyn, dwi'n meddwl.

Thank you. Heledd wanted to come in on this point.

Rydych chi wedi sôn yn sydyn, wrth roi tystiolaeth, rŵan, ynglŷn â thrafnidiaeth. Yn amlwg, un o'r pethau y byddem ni'n hoffi eu deall ydy'r rhwystrau. Mae'n grêt, yr holl bethau rydych chi'n eu rhestru o ran pobl sydd yn gallu ymwneud â rhai o'r treialon ac ati, ond dydy hynny ddim yn dweud wrthym ni cefndir y bobl sy'n gallu bod yn rhan o'r gweithgareddau hynny. Ydych chi'n dal unrhyw fath o ddata o ran cefndiroedd y plant sy'n medru neu unrhyw rwystrau o ran y plant sydd yn methu cymryd rhan yn y gweithgareddau rydych chi'n eu rhoi? Yn amlwg, o ran addysg Gymraeg yn benodol, rydyn ni'n gwybod bod pobl yn teithio'n bellach mewn rhai ardaloedd tuag at addysg Gymraeg yn benodol. Dwi jest eisiau trio deall, oherwydd mae'n un peth pan fo gennym ni'r cyfleusterau, ond os nad ydy pawb efo mynediad—. Dwi eisiau trio deall beth ydy'r rhwystrau ac a ydych chi'n gweld bod yna bethau y gellir eu newid er mwyn sicrhau mynediad cyfartal i bawb i gael y cyfleoedd hyn.

You briefly mentioned the issue of transport. Now, one of the things that we'd like to understand is the barriers. It's excellent that you've listed all of the opportunities available, but that doesn't tell us anything about the background of the people who can participate in those activities. Do you hold any sort of data in terms of the backgrounds of the children involved or any barriers to the children who can't get involved in the activities that you stage? In terms of Welsh-medium education, for example, we know that some people have to travel further in some areas to access Welsh-medium education. I just want to try to understand, because it's one thing having the facilities, but if not everyone can access those facilities—. We need to understand the barriers and are there things that can change in order to ensure equal access for all to these opportunities.

Ydyn ni'n gallu mynd at Emily yn gyntaf ar hynny, achos rwy'n gweld bod Emily'n nodio? Wedyn gwnawn ni ddod nôl atoch chi, os yw hwnna'n ocê. Emily.

Can we go to Emily first on that, because I could see that Emily was nodding? And then we'll come back to you. Emily.

Yes. From the perspective, again, of the Youth Sport Trust, predominantly in Wales, our work is around youth leadership, and the data that we have is that, when leadership provision is provided outside of the school day and supported through the local authorities, we have fewer young people who access free school meals engaging in it, because there are barriers of travel and engagement beyond the provision that happens within school, which is why we passionately talk about the importance of the school being the provider of an opportunity for all young people in physical education, sport and leadership.

There are some examples—and I'll need to resort to my notes and I'll throw them back in—of things like school transport, where the school finishes and the buses leave when the bell goes. There are examples of schools that have buses or travel opportunities that go when extra-curricular clubs finish—so, actually, the opportunity for young people to travel back after sport has finished, rather than needing to rely on their school or public transport to get home from school at the end of the day. The nature of transformation to allow all young people to access that 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. slot—you know, the end of the school day—is something that if we want to see significant shift in the engagement of young people, especially in deprived communities to access, is a critical one. And secondly, the point around when a local authority is the provider in a wraparound environment linked to the school, there is a barrier to young people on free school meals accessing the provision. 

Diolch. Thank you very much for that, Emily. 

Gary, roeddech chi eisiau dweud rhywbeth.

Gary, you wanted to say something.

Wel, jest, efo trafnidiaeth, dwi jest yn teimlo eich bod chi'n gallu cael y drafnidiaeth orau yn y byd, ond os dyw pobl ifanc ddim efo'r arian i fynd ar y drafnidiaeth, mae'n broblem. So, dwi'n meddwl bod yn rhaid inni gael ffocws ar localised opportunities, dwi'n teimlo, hefyd, a chynnig hyfforddiant i bobl ifanc sydd yn yr ardal yna, a rhoi'r ownership iddyn nhw—hwnna yw'r gair gorau, rili—ar gyfer beth rydyn ni'n eisiau ei wneud, a chynnig y cyfle iddyn nhw. Rydyn ni'n gwneud darn o waith efo Prifysgol Aberystwyth rŵan ar yr insight i bobl ifanc sydd wir yn deall, yn ysgolion, yn enwedig mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig, fod yna gyfleoedd iddyn nhw weithio trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yn chwaraeon. Achos dwi wir yn teimlo eu bod nhw'n mynd i addysg uwchradd, ysgolion Cymraeg, a dydyn nhw dal ddim yn deall bod yna gyfleoedd iddyn nhw weithio trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg ar ôl gadael ysgol. Dwi'n teimlo dydyn nhw ddim yn deall hynny, so rydyn ni'n rhoi darn o waith at ei gilydd ar hyn o bryd ar hwnna, so bydd e'n ddiddorol iawn, yn enwedig yn ardaloedd difreintiedig. Rydyn ni wedi pwyso, rŵan, i wneud yn siŵr bod ein prentisiaethau ni reit ar draws y Valleys taskforce area; rydyn ni'n trio tynnu pobl newydd i mewn i'n cynlluniau ni. Ond mae'n rhaid i bethau fod yn localised, dwi'n teimlo.

Ond dydyn ni ddim, hefyd, eisiau amharu ar glybiau lleol. Mae clybiau lleol wedi bod ers blynyddoedd, ac, yn draddodiadol, mae yna glwb pêl-droed a chlwb rygbi yn y pentref. Rydyn ni eisiau gwneud yn siŵr eu bod nhw'n dal i weithredu, a beth rydyn ni eisiau ei wneud yw cynnig cyfleoedd a gwneud yn siŵr bod y plant a phobl ifanc hyn efo cyfle i fynd iddyn nhw, fel exit routes, os ydyn nhw eisiau. Dyna beth rydyn ni eisiau gwneud yn siŵr ohono—widen the base at the bottom, iawn, i roi'r cyfleoedd i bawb. There's no simple answer, fel maen nhw'n ei ddweud, ond mae'n rhaid inni gydweithio lot yn well efo'n gilydd a stopio gweithio mewn silos, a rydyn ni'n gyfrifol am hwnna, fel pawb arall.

Well, just, in terms of transport, I feel that you could have the best transport in the world, but if young people don't have the money to go on the transport and use the transport, it's a problem. So, I think we need to have a focus on localised opportunities, I feel, also, and offer training to young people who are in these areas, and place the ownership on them—that's the best word I think—regarding what we're trying to do, and provide them with the opportunity. We're just doing a piece of work with Aberystwyth University on the insight regarding young people who really understand that, in schools, especially in disadvantaged areas, there are opportunities for them to work through the medium of Welsh in sport. Because I really feel that they go into secondary education, Welsh-medium schools, and they still don't understand that they have opportunities to work through the medium of Welsh after leaving school. I feel like they don't understand that, so we're putting a piece of work together at the moment on that, which will be really interesting, especially in disadvantaged areas. We've pushed, now, to ensure that our apprenticeships are available across the Valleys taskforce area; we're trying to draw new people into our schemes. But things have to be localised, I feel.

But we don't want to affect local clubs, either. There have been local clubs for years, and, traditionally, there has been a football club and a rugby club in the village. We want to make sure that they are still operating, and what we want to do is offer opportunities and make sure that these children and young people have opportunities to go to them, as exit routes, if they want to. That's what we want to ensure—widen the base at the bottom to provide the opportunities for all. There's no simple answer, as they say, but we have to collaborate much better together and stop working in silos, and we're responsible for that, as much as everybody else.

Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae hynna'n rili defnyddiol. Rwy'n ceisio cofio beth ydy 'ownership' yn Gymraeg; dwi methu cofio'r gair.

Great. Thank you very much. That's very useful. I'm trying to remember the Welsh word for 'ownership', and I can't remember it.

Ie. Doeddwn i ddim yn cofio'r gair.

Yes. I couldn't remember the word.

Perchnogaeth.

'Perchnogaeth'.

'Perchnogaeth'. Dyna'r gair. Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen at Hefin David.

'Perchnogaeth'—that's the word I was looking for. We'll move on now to Hefin David.

10:45

The panel will be glad to know that Sport Wales raised the community use of school facilities as a key policy approach, and I think we've done that; we've explored that issue. But the other two approaches that they talked about were aligning investment with their own priorities and collaboration through regional partnerships. So, can I ask the panellists' views on those other two priorities, please?

Ie. Dwi'n cytuno efo beth mae Chwaraeon Cymru wedi dweud yn fanna. Rydyn ni wedi, rŵan, ehangu ar ein strwythur ni i gyd-fynd â'r rhanbarthau newydd. So, rydyn ni wedi strwythuro ein staffio ni a phopeth rŵan i gael pan-Wales approach, ond o dan strwythur a strategaeth Chwaraeon Cymru. So, mae'r cydweithio yna'n lot well, ac mae'r ffordd mae Chwaraeon Cymru wedi'i strwythuro yn rili call, ac mae'n dangos inni ein bod ni'n gallu wedyn gweithredu a strwythuro fel nhw. So, mae'r cydweithio'n lot well. Ie, obviously, mae Sport North Wales yna'n barod. Bydd o'n rili diddorol i weld gweddill y rhanbarthau rŵan yn datblygu dros y flwyddyn neu ddwy flynedd nesaf.

Yes. I agree with what Sport Wales have said. We have now expanded our structure to reflect the new regions. So, we've structured our staffing now so that we can take a pan-Wales approach, but under the Sport Wales strategy. So, that collaboration is far more effective, and the way that Sport Wales is structured is very effective and it shows us that we can follow that same structure. So, collaboration is so much better. Clearly, Sport North Wales is already there. It'll be interesting to see the other regions developing now over the next year or two.

Yes. I think, again, from the perspective of the Sport Wales strategy and the structure and evolution—really positive. At the moment, we definitely are more aligned to support the 22 local authorities. And, as and when the structures become fully embedded, the support we will provide, because we're not got as large a footprint in Wales as the Urdd would have, and don't necessarily have the intention to—. But I think the bigger question for this is: what is the strategy for children and young people in school sport and in the community, or is the wider strategy—not a Sport Wales strategy, but what is the ambition for every child in Wales in terms of physical education, school sport and physical activity, to enable the Sport Wales strategy and the actions of all partners to be able to achieve that? At the moment, that's probably the gap that I think is missing, so that everybody can work towards and collaborate fully on the ambitions for every child in Wales in terms of not just numbers of minutes, but the approach to the experiences and the opportunities that they should be able to access.

Do you think that needs a funding intervention, or are there other interventions that would be required?

I think there's a lot of funding—. So, even when we just articulate the Winter of Well-being investment, the grants that national partners get, I think there's money out there, but it comes down to that collaboration piece. It's easier to collaborate when you know the strategy for children and young people that you're working towards. And then the money almost facilitates the relevant organisations locally or nationally to be able to drive towards that. That came through really clearly from the survey that we delivered on behalf of Sport Wales in the middle of the pandemic. Schools, beyond the new curriculum, which is an important part of how young people will access physical education, beyond that, they're unclear of what opportunities they are providing and/or they're being steered in different directions. So, I think a strategy that clearly outlines the expectations of what a young person should experience, the time they should be accessing physical activity for, the focus of physical education within the environment, and the expectation for extra-curricular activity—. The money should back that up, but, without that as the guiding principle, money will just keep coming in and going is my view.

Okay. And to the rest of the panel, what other interventions other than funding would be useful in disadvantaged areas?

I agree.

Dwi'n cytuno efo beth oedd Emily yn dweud yn fanna, rili. Mae'n rhaid inni—. Rydyn ni'n dilyn cynlluniau a strategaeth, rili, Chwaraeon Cymru, a principles sydd yn gryf inni—inclusion ydy'r peth pwysicaf inni, a gwneud yn siŵr bod y cynigion yna. Ond mae hwn yn rili—. Dwi ddim yn siŵr sut i ateb o, i fod yn onest, ond am inni strwythuro'n gwaith ni'n iawn a bod y cyfleoedd yna—. Ie, dwi ddim yn gwybod am unrhyw rhwystrau eraill buaswn i'n gallu meddwl amdanynt, rili, fanna. 

I agree with what Emily was saying there, really. We follow the schemes and strategy of Sport Wales, and principles are strong for us—so, inclusion is the most important thing for us, and to ensure that the offer is there. I'm not sure how to answer the question, really, but, regarding the structure of our work, that that's right, and the opportunities are there—. I don't know about other barriers; I can't think of any there, really.

Iawn. Ocê.

All right. Okay.

Hefin, was there anything else you wanted to ask?

Na. Rŷch chi'n hapus. Diolch am hwnna, Hefin. Gwnawn ni symud at Heledd Fychan.

No. If you're happy, we'll move on to Heledd Fychan.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, a diolch am y dystiolaeth bore yma. Roeddwn i jest eisiau holi—rydych chi wedi sôn dipyn ynglŷn â phwysigrwydd cydweithio â'r cyrff gwahanol, megis rydych chi wedi sôn am awdurdodau lleol ac ati, ond ydych chi'n meddwl bod yna botensial o ran cydweithio i gyflawni hyd yn oed yn bellach ar draws mwy o feysydd polisi, er enghraifft, iechyd, addysg, cyfiawnder, neu ydy hyn yn rhywbeth rydych chi'n ei wneud ar y funud? Os felly, sut mae'n cael ei ariannu, neu ydych chi'n meddwl bod yna botensial i wneud mwy os oeddech chi'n cael eich hariannu i wneud hynny?

Thank you very much, and thank you for the evidence this morning. I just wanted to ask—you've talked quite a lot about the importance of collaboration with different bodies, you've mentioned local authorities and so forth, but do you think there's potential in terms of collaborating to deliver even further in other policy areas, for example, health, education, justice, or is this something that you're doing currently? If so, how is it funded, or do you think there's potential to do more if you were being funded to do so?

10:50

Ocê, gwnawn ni fynd at Gary yn gyntaf ac wedyn gwnawn ni ddod at Emily.

Okay, we'll go to Gary first and then Emily.

Yn bendant mae yna gyfleoedd. Dydyn ni ddim yn gwneud lot tu allan i'r sector chwaraeon ar hyn o bryd, i fod yn onest, ond mae yna yn bendant gyfleoedd i gydweithio efo addysg—bendant—ond hefyd efo iechyd, 100 y cant. Rydyn ni wedi bod i ambell—. Mae GLL, fel mudiadau hamdden, yn gwneud lot ohono fo ar hyn o bryd, yn cynllunio i weithio efo'r adran yna. Dydyn ni ddim yn gwneud lot, i fod yn onest, Heledd, ond mae'n rhywbeth y buasem ni'n bendant yn croesawu trio ei wneud ac edrych i fewn iddo.

Certainly, there are opportunities. We don't do a great deal outside the sport sector at the moment, if I'm honest, but there are certainly opportunities for collaboration with education, yes, but also with health, 100 per cent. Now, GLL, as leisure organisations, do a great deal in planning to work with that. We aren't doing that much, if I'm honest, Heledd, but it's something that we would certainly welcome doing and we will look into it.

Emily, oedd unrhyw beth oeddech chi eisiau ei ychwanegu?

Emily, was there anything you wanted to add?

Yes. I think, Heledd, from the perspective of that, again, the young ambassador programme is a good example of that, the link between, I think, sport and education in that context is relatively strong, but the connectivity to health and the outcome of an empowered generation of young people on their mental and physical health—the connections potentially aren't being made formally, which, again, brings me back to a joined-up Government strategy that demonstrates the importance of physical education, physical activity and school sport, whether that's prevention measures, where there are a range of organisations—. I know StreetGames have spoken earlier. There are a range of excellent charities that use sport as a vehicle to prevent crime and then re-engage young people. But we can't quite see the part they're playing as the collective, because there's not that joined-up strategy. So, I think the joined-up, cross-department, in effect, strategy provides a really good compass to recognise then where there should be disproportionate investment of funds in areas of disadvantage with a purpose about striving to level up, bring everybody on the same agenda. So, at the moment, my view is there is occasionally good engagement between health and education, and education and sport, but not the three together.

Un peth rydyn ni wedi ei wneud ydy rydyn ni wedi creu pecyn lles ar gyfer pobl ifanc o 14 i fyny yn ysgol, lle rydyn ni'n gallu mynd i mewn i'r ysgol a mynd drosto. Mae nifer o bartneriaid wedi gweithio ar y cynllun hefo ni, er enghraifft Show Racism the Red Card, Anabledd Cymru—

There is one thing that we have done, which is we have created a well-being package for young people from 14 and up in school, where we can go into the school and go over it. A number of partners have worked on the scheme with us, for example, Show Racism the Red Card, Disability Wales—

Bwyta'n iach.

Eating healthily.

Ie, a bwyta'n iach. Mae yna bob math o elfennau sydd o gwmpas lles a iechyd, rili. So, rydyn ni'n gwneud tipyn efo hynny, ond, fel roedd Emily'n ei ddweud, rydyn ni'n gwneud hwnna ar ein pennau ein hunain, so dydy hwnna ddim yn rhywbeth rydyn ni wedi gweithio efo sectorau gwahanol i'w wneud. Mae'n bendant yn rhywbeth buasen ni'n croesawu edrych ar ei wneud.

Yes, eating healthily. There are all sorts of elements around well-being and health, really. So, we're doing a lot with that, but, as Emily said, we're doing that on our own, so that isn't something that we've worked with different sectors to do. Certainly, it's something that we would welcome looking at trying to do.

Grêt. Heledd, oedd unrhyw beth arall oeddech chi eisiau ei ofyn? Na?

Great. Heledd, was there anything else you wanted to ask? No?

Na, mae hynny'n grêt. Diolch.

No, that's great. Thank you.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen at Carolyn Thomas.

Thank you very much. We'll move on to Carolyn Thomas.

Okay. Thank you. Do you think that there's enough data to depict what's needed in disadvantaged areas, and do you think that Sport Wales use the data well to fund sport in disadvantaged areas? Sorry, did you hear me? I was sitting too far back from the microphone, I think, so. Okay. 

Emily, she nodded.

Okay, shall we go to—? Well, let's go to Emily first, because—. Emily.

Brilliant. So, in terms of Sport Wales sharing that data with us, through the school sports survey predominantly, and some of the wider work, we get the free school meals data. So, I think that is a level of data that is shared with us as a national partner. The mechanics of that being used at a local authority level, I am less close to. I think there are increased data sets or improved data sets that could be used as benchmarks beyond free school meals, so things that we utilise as an organisation and we have done for some work that we're doing in Wales is information around destination data, for example. So, I think there is an opportunity for richer data to inform where or why investment is positioned, based on physical activity and, as Gary has mentioned, pathways into employment in and through sport that could be more visually presented and more readily available for organisations to utilise.

Mae'r un fath i ni. Rydyn ni'n defnyddio, fel Emily, y school sports survey, ond rydyn ni'n defnyddio hefyd cinio am ddim mewn ysgolion ar hyn o bryd. Er enghraifft, mae 6,000 o'n haelodau ni rŵan yn derbyn bwyd am ddim yn yr ysgolion. So, rydyn ni'n gwybod pethau fel yna, ond beth dwi'n teimlo, os ydyn ni'n defnyddio'r Welsh index of multiple deprivation, fel mae pawb yn gwneud, mae'n newid yn dibynnu ar yr ardal. Er enghraifft, os ti'n rhoi i mewn 'access to services' i sir, wnaiff o hwyrach ddod i fyny yn deprived, ond os ti'n rhoi 'incwm' i mewn neu rywbeth, mae'n dod i fyny nad ydy o'n deprived. So, mae'n rili anodd i fudiadau fel ni weithredu'n iawn. Buasai fo'n neis i gael mwy o ffocws a mwy o,

It's the same for us. Like Emily, we use the school sports survey, but also we use free school meals data in schools. For example, 6,000 of our members are in receipt of free school meals. So, we have that information, but if we use the Welsh index of multiple deprivation, as everyone seems to do, it does change depending on the area. For example, if you put in 'access to services' for a county, it might come up showing as deprived, but if you put 'income' in, it shows as not being deprived. So, it's very difficult for organisations such as ours to operate effectively. It would be nice to have more focus and more, 

'You tell us what you want to collect, or how we collect it.'

Dwi'n teimlo buaswn i'n licio cael guidance ar hwnna, yn bendant.

We would like some guidance on that, without a doubt.

10:55

Diolch am hwnna. Carolyn, oedd yna unrhyw beth arall roeddech chi eisiau gofyn, neu ydych chi'n hapus—?

Thank you for that. Carolyn, was there anything else you wanted to ask, or are you happy—?

Are you happy to move on?

Grêt, ocê. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Tom Giffard.

Great. We'll move on to Tom Giffard.

Thanks, Delyth. Can I ask how participation gaps that have widened during the pandemic are being tackled at the moment?

Ydych chi eisiau mynd yn gyntaf?

Do you want to go first?

Wel, mae'r gender participation yn wych. Rydyn ni efo tua, ar hyn o bryd—. Roedden ni efo 15,000 o blant a phobl ifanc yn cymryd rhan yn ein clybiau wythnosol ni cyn y pandemig. Rydyn ni nôl i fyny i dros 10,000 rŵan. Felly, mae nôl fyny ac yn gweithredu, ac mae 60 y cant o'r rheini'n ferched, sydd yn rili dda i ni. Dwi ddim yn gwybod pam, ond dydyn ni ddim wedi cael y broblem weithredu o gael mwy o ferched yn cymryd rhan yn ein clybiau wythnosol.

Beth oedd yn dda dros y pandemig, beth wnaethon ni, wnaethon ni weithio'n—ac mae'n mynd yn ôl i beth mae Emily'n dweud—agos iawn efo ysgolion drwy'r pandemig. Ddaru ni newid beth roeddem ni'n gallu cynnig, a ddaru ni gynnig rhyw fath o restr siopa i bob ysgol, 'Rydyn ni'n gallu gweithredu fel hyn, ar-lein neu ddod i mewn i'r ysgol', a dwi'n meddwl ddaru hwnna helpu ni lot. Felly, unwaith ddaru'r pandemig orffen—wel, gobeithio ei fod o wedi gorffen—roeddem ni'n gallu gweithredu'n syth, a dyna beth sydd wedi bod wir yn neis. So, mae'r participation yna'n mynd yn ôl ar y ffordd iawn. So, rydyn ni wedi gweld hynny a, gender wise, mae'n wych. 

Rydyn ni hefyd yn gweithio'n agos efo Disability Sport Wales, efo Insport, so i wneud yn siŵr bod popeth rydyn ni'n cynnig yn inclusive. Rydyn ni'n mynd am yr aur y flwyddyn yma, so rydyn ni wedi mynd drwy dri lefel yn barod, ac mae hwnna'n rhywbeth yn bendant rydyn ni'n awyddus i'w ddatblygu'n bellach.

Ond, rhywbeth arall hefyd yw ein bod ni'n anghofio weithiau am yr iaith Gymraeg. Rydyn ni eisiau gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n bwrw targedau'r iaith hefyd, a beth rydyn ni yn teimlo ydy y dylai pob plentyn a pherson ifanc gael y cyfle i wneud gweithgareddau a chwaraeon y tu allan i'r ysgol drwy'r Gymraeg. Maen nhw'n derbyn eu haddysg yn y Gymraeg, so dylai fod cyfleoedd iddyn nhw weithredu yn yr iaith maen nhw eisiau ei wneud. Dwi'n teimlo bod hwnna, participation wise, yn gallu bod yn anodd weithiau. 

Well, the gender participation is excellent. We have, at the moment—. We did have 15,000 children and young people taking part in our weekly clubs before the pandemic. We're back now to over 10,000. So, it's back up, and about 60 per cent of those are girls, which is really good for us. I don't know why, but we haven't had any problem in attracting more girls to take part in weekly clubs.

What was good over the pandemic, what we did was we worked—and this goes back to what Emily said, really—closely with schools through the pandemic and we changed what we were offering. We offered a kind of shopping list to each school, 'We can operate like this, online or come into school', and I think that helped us a lot. So, once the pandemic came to an end—hopefully it has come to an end—we could act immediately, and that's what's been really nice. So, participation is going back along the right track, and we've seen that, gender wise, it's excellent. 

We're also working closely with Disability Sport Wales, with Insport, to ensure that everything we offer is inclusive. We're going for the gold standard this year, so we've gone through three levels already, and that is something that we certainly want to develop further.

But something else as well is we sometimes forget about the Welsh language. We want to ensure that we're hitting the targets regarding the Welsh language, and what we believe is that every child and young person should have the opportunity to do sport and activities outside of school through the medium of Welsh. They receive their education through the Welsh language, so they should have opportunities to do other things through the medium of Welsh, and I do feel that that, participation wise, can be difficult sometimes. 

Ie, a rhywbeth roedden ni'n edrych arno, fel roedd Gary yn sôn, yn ystod y pandemig, oedd wnaethom ni fel mudiad ddim eistedd yn ôl. Roedd rhaid i ni ofyn, 'Beth ydyn ni'n mynd i wneud nawr?' So, aethom ni â bron â bod popeth ar-lein i gychwyn. So, fe wnaethom ni sefydlu dau brosiect ar hyd y pandemig, sef #HydrefHeini ac #ActifAdref, a oedd yn ffantastig, ac mae hwnna wedi'n wir gyfrannu at ein lefelau cyfranogiad ni wrth i ni ddod allan—touch wood, gobeithio—o'r pandemig yma.

A dŷn ni'n sôn am gender; dŷn ni yn ddiweddar iawn wedi sefydlu prosiect #FelMerch. So, mae hwnna'n brosiect i drio targedu merched 14+, wel 14 i 25, achos dŷn ni'n llwyr ymwybodol, ar ôl lot fawr o ymchwil, fod yna lot o ferched ifanc, ar ôl cyrraedd ysgol uwchradd, yn disgyn. So, dŷn ni wir yn teimlo—. Dŷn ni wedi gweld cynnydd yn barod yn nifer y timoedd wnaeth gymryd rhan yn ein rygbi saith-bob-ochr merched, sydd yn ffantastig, o'r elfen hynny, ac mae'n rhywbeth nawr dŷn ni wir yn edrych at: sut dŷn ni'n gallu sefydlu hybiau yn y gymuned a gweithio gydag ysgolion uwchradd, colegau, prifysgolion er mwyn sicrhau bod y merched ifanc yma'n cael mynediad at weithgareddau chwaraeon.

And, as Gary mentioned, during the pandemic, we as an organisation didn't rest on our laurels; we had to think what we could do, and we took virtually everything online first of all. We established two projects that ran along the pandemic, #HydrefHeini and #ActifAdref, and that was excellent, and that has really contributed to our participation level as we hopefully emerge from this pandemic.

We mentioned gender. We recently established the #FelMerch project. So, that's a project to target young women aged 14 to 25 because we're very aware—and there's a great deal of research—that a lot of girls, having got to secondary school, don't participate as much in sport. We certainly feel—. We saw an increase in the number of teams that participated in our girls seven-a-side rugby competition, which was excellent, and that's something that we're really focusing on now in terms of how we can establish hubs within communities and work with secondary schools, colleges and universities to ensure that these young women do have access to sporting activities. 

Enghraifft o hwnna yw bod yna, yn y rygbi saith-bob-ochr, dros 100 o dimau o ferched wedi cystadlu dros yr wythnos, sy'n ffantastig i'w weld, rili. Ond beth sy'n rhaid i ni wneud yn siŵr ohono ydy eu bod nhw efo rhywbeth i'w wneud bob wythnos, ddim jest one-off o'r ysgol. A dyna pam—dwi'n mynd yn ôl i Emily eto—mae'r linc rhwng y gymuned a'r ysgol mor bwysig. 

An example of that is that there were over 100 girls teams competing over the week in the seven-a-side rugby, and that was fantastic to see, but what we need to make sure is that they have something to do every week, not just as a one-off with their school. That's why—and I come back to Emily again—the link between the community and the school is so important.

Yes, absolutely. Emily, before we come to you, I think Alun just wants to come in on something. 

Oh, you were agreeing. Forgive me. Emily, was there anything you wanted to add on this? 

Yes. I think, from a post-pandemic situation, one of the things it's really interesting to hear the team from the Urdd reference is the girls' engagement. I think it was really telling that, through the pandemic, girls were able to find and got used to adapting to activities online and found different activities, whereas, typically, boys, who are more inclined to be involved in team sports, which stopped over the pandemic, found it much harder to find an alternative. So, I think there's a big call to action, and there has been, to educators to ensure that whatever it was girls were experiencing more positively through the online environment, potentially different activities, different environments, they've been able to sustain that. And the narrative from teachers is they took lots of lessons from it.

But I think the return to participation has been positive, because young people articulated in lots of the research that they'd recognised, potentially based on the messaging that was coming out nationally, how, 'The only thing you can do is exercise for an hour a day' demonstrates its importance. But we've potentially lost that narrative that was coming centrally—like that was the only thing you could do, it was important, and young people recognised it.

But we have the fastest growing crisis in young people with the obesity levels. So, we've got low-hanging fruit that have got back in, but I think the—. We've just recently done a YouGov poll, and only one in five parents understand and recognise that young people should be exercising for 60 active minutes a day. And that's to avoid disease, not the optimal amount of exercise. So, I think the work being done for us collectively is about educating parents and families on the significant importance of 60 active minutes a day as a minimum. I think 9 per cent of children and young people met that in Wales throughout the pandemic period. These are really, really big issues for us and potentially a ticking time bomb.

And the other one was about 83 per cent of parents feeling that their children are spending too much time online. So, again, our responsibility to consider how, for those of you that are interested in the world of employment, sport can be a place where human skills are developed that are going to be really critical for the world of employment later on. So, part of our work is about helping educators present the message of the importance of physical activity on your cardiovascular part—your physical health—and the role of sport in creating well-rounded young people when lots of life is being spent online. So, that's the work that we're doing in terms of messaging around PE, sports post pandemic, given lots of young people were not active through that period.

And there are some great examples. There's one Welsh example that we—. Basically, the Youth Sport Trust didn't do anything; we just sought schools that took an approach to an active-recovery curriculum in supporting young people's recovery. They built in active pedagogy. So, their lessons were taught though physical activity—their numeracy and literacy lessons. They increased physical activity, potentially, at the start of the day, using things like the daily mile, which many schools utilise. They built in longer breaks at lunch and break time, recognising that the young people weren't necessarily well coming back to school and needed that time to recover. So, we've got some great case studies of schools that used different approaches that put physical activity at the heart of their recovery curriculum to support young people's return.

11:00

Brilliant. I was going to follow up and ask whether anybody had learned any positives from the pandemic and changed approaches. I think a few people have touched on that already, so I don't know if anybody's got anything additional on that front they wanted to add, or whether you've said, on that front, everything you wanted to say already.

One other lesson learned—and this is a really interesting one as somebody and as an organisation that are really passionate about the power of young people getting on the bus to represent their school in competition—one big lesson was, when restrictions lifted and they could do activity in school but potentially not travel between schools, many schools saw a spike in participation because when you have to be selected to represent the school, often numbers dwindle very early on because only the school team are selected and they go and compete. So, we have some schools—and I think there's more learning and research and understanding needed on this to understand the longer term effect—that have started to focus their September to December provision purely on in-school clubs and participation to keep more young people involved and engaged in school with intra-house activity before doing that selection process that meant, naturally, some young people missed out. That's been quite significant.

And the second is the scheduling of sport. Historically, we have a term when football is played, a term when rugby is played, a term when netball is played, and actually, seasonally, that sometimes doesn't work for young people. So, schools have twisted and altered, and that's had a positive impact, and some schools have held on to that. And that's across—I'm using an example here from England—state and independent. 

11:05

I ni, mae participation trwy ysgolion a chystadlaethau jest yn mynd o nerth i nerth. Rydyn ni'n cael mwy yn cystadlu ar ôl y pandemig na chyn, yn bendant. Mae hwnna'n bendant yn digwydd. Ond, yn mynd yn ôl, hefyd, mae plant a phobl ifanc eisiau cymryd rhan mewn gweithgareddau. Dwi'n meddwl mai un peth arall rydyn ni wedi ei wella ydy sut rydyn ni'n eu marchnata nhw, hefyd, yn yr ardaloedd difreintiedig—sut rydyn ni'n gwneud yn siŵr eu bod nhw'n deall bod yna gynnig iddyn nhw eu gwneud, a beth sydd ar gael iddyn nhw. So, mae yna gyfle i ni i gyd wneud hynny'n iawn, hefyd. Dyna pam, yn y cynllun prentis, er enghraifft, rydyn ni'n awyddus iawn i gynnig cyfleoedd i bobl ifanc ymuno â'r cynllun sy'n byw yn lleol, yn yr ardaloedd difreintiedig. Mae'n rhywbeth dwi wir yn awyddus i'w weld yn datblygu. So, os oes gan unrhyw un syniadau am sut rydyn ni'n gallu datblygu hynny'n bellach, buaswn i'n ddiolchgar iawn.

For us, participation in schools and competitions has just gone from strength to strength. We have more competing after the pandemic than before, definitely. But, going back also, children and young people want to take part in activities. I think one other thing that we've really improved is how we do the marketing around this in disadvantaged areas—how we ensure that they understand that there's an offer for them, and what's available to them. So, there's an opportunity for us all to do that well, too. That's why, within the apprenticeship scheme, we're very keen to offer opportunities to young people who live locally, in the disadvantaged areas, to join the scheme. It's something that I'm really keen to see develop. So, if anybody's got ideas on how we can develop that further, I'd be very grateful.

Grêt, ffantastig. Mae gyda ni bedair munud ar ôl. Oedd unrhyw un ohonoch chi, Emily neu Jo neu Gary, oedd unrhyw beth ychwanegol roeddech chi eisiau ei godi sydd ddim wedi codi gyda'r cwestiynau? Mae'n ffein os nad oedd yna—jest os oedd rhywbeth llosg roeddech chi eisiau ei gael drosodd i ni.

Great. We have four minutes left. Emily, Jo or Gary, is there anything that you wanted to add that you haven't covered in responses to questions? It's fine if not, but I'm just asking if there is some issue that you really wanted to raise.

Wel, un peth—mae'n digwydd rŵan efo funding model newydd Chwaraeon Cymru anyway—yw sut rydyn ni'n derbyn y funding. Er enghraifft, os ydyn ni'n derbyn rhywbeth hirdymor, mae gennym ni lot fwy o—. Mae'n rhaid i ni beidio bod ag ofn methu, iawn? Mae'n rhaid i ni fod yn gallu trio pethau allan, a weithiau, pan fyddwn ni'n cael funding model blwyddyn, mae'n rili, rili anodd efo hwnna. So, mae'n rhaid i ni ehangu ar hwnna, ac os ydyn ni'n gallu cael hwnna, y long-term funding, a'r collaboration yn well, dwi'n meddwl mai the only way is up—byddwn ni'n gallu datblygu, dwi'n siwr.

Well, it's happening with the Sport Wales funding model now, but I did want to address how we receive our funding. For example, if we have long-term funding, then we have more—. We shouldn't be scared of failure. We have to try new things, and when we're working to an annual funding model, that can be very difficult indeed. So, we need to expand that, and if we can get long-term funding and improved collaboration, then I think the only way is up—we really can develop, I'm sure. 

Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Great. Thanks very much.

Emily, I could see that you were nodding when that was being said.

Yes, I fully agree. Long-term funding, but with, before that, an understanding of what we're trying to achieve in terms of the expectations and aspirations for children and young people through physical activity and sport, with the long-term funding to back it up and that can allow anybody to work towards it.

Grêt. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi i gyd.

Great. Thank you all very much.

I thank you all so much for the evidence this morning.

Bydd transgript o'r hyn rydych chi wedi'i ddweud yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi i'w wirio. Efallai fydd rhai pethau ychwanegol y byddwn ni eisiau eu codi gyda chi yn ysgrifenedig, hefyd. Os oes yna rywbeth rydych chi'n meddwl amdano ac rydych chi eisiau danfon mwy o fanylion atom ni arno fe, grêt, mae hwnna'n ffantastig hefyd. Ond mae hyn wedi bod yn ddefnyddiol iawn. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

A transcript of what you've said will be sent to you to check for factual accuracy. Perhaps there will be some additional issues that we'd like to write to you about, or if there's something about which you'd like to send more details to us, that would be fantastic as well. But this has been very useful. Thank you very much.

Un peth arall yw bod yr urban games yma, weekend nesaf yn y bae. So, mae croeso i bawb ddod i weld y gweithgareddau'n mynd ymlaen. Bydd o'n wych.

One other thing is that the urban games are on next weekend in the bay, so you're all welcome to come and see the activities that will be going on. It's going to be excellent. 

Na, yr un nesaf.

No, the next one.

 Ffantastig. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae hwnna'n amserol. Diolch yn fawr iawn am y dystiolaeth. 

Thank you very much. Fantastic. That's a timely plug. Thank you very much for the evidence. 

Aelodau, fe fyddwn ni nawr yn cymryd egwyl fer, tan 20 munud wedi. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Members, we'll now take a short break, until 20 past. Thank you. 

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 11:08 ac 11:20.

The meeting adjourned between 11:08 and 11:20.

11:20
4. Ymchwiliad i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig: Sesiwn dystiolaeth gydag academyddion
4. Inquiry into participation in sport in disadvantaged areas: Evidence session with academics

Croeso nôl i'n hymholiad i gymryd rhan mewn chwaraeon mewn ardaloedd difreintiedig. Dŷn ni'n hybrid heddiw; mae rhai o'n Haelodau a rhai o'n tystion yn ymuno â ni trwy gyswllt fideo ac mae eraill ohonom ni yn yr ystafell. Rwy'n falch iawn i gyflwyno ein tyst olaf ar gyfer y sesiwn heddiw. Gaf i ofyn i chi, Melitta, gyflwyno'ch hunan ar gyfer y record, plis?

Welcome back to our inquiry into participation in sport in disadvantaged areas. We are hybrid today; some Members and some of our witnesses are joining us through video link and others are in the room. I'm very pleased to welcome our final witness for today's session. May I ask you, Melitta, to introduce yourself for the record, please?

Good morning, everybody. I'm Melitta McNarry. I'm part of the Welsh Institute of Physical Activity, Health and Sport and I'm based at Swansea University.

Fantastic. It's great to have you with us, Melitta. Thank you so much for your time. We'll move straight to questions from Members and we'll go first to Alun Davies.

Thank you very much. I'm grateful for your time this morning. I'm interested in your specialisms around physical activity and the impact that that has on, I think it's health, isn't it, and activity levels? I'm wondering if you have any analysis on the barriers that would impact a young person growing up, for example in my constituency in Blaenau Gwent, as opposed to that same young person growing up in a very affluent, middle-class neighbourhood somewhere else.

It's a very interesting question and there's no simple answer. I think the best evidence we have to date, really, highlights that it's a world of interactions. So, you can get barriers at the individual, the societal, the neighbourhood levels and those barriers aren't independent of each other. So, there are the obvious ones that spring to mind from the offset, so there are the cost implications of being able to engage in activities, there's access to facilities, which is obviously multifaceted, there's how local those facilities are and what the transport options for people to get to facilities are if they aren't walkable, and then there are the cost implications of that transport if it's not local as well. And those are just a few of the ones that spring to mind, and these are obviously also highly specific, depending on, if you like, protected characteristics, so gender, ethnicity—all these things then interact over and above on environmental characteristics, for example, to determine what the specific barriers are. So, I'm afraid I can't give a concise and simple answer, because it is very, very specific.

Okay, well, let's go back to, I think, the middle part of that issue. You said about the particular barriers facing people with protected characteristics. Why would somebody, that person with protected characteristics, face additional barriers in Blaenau Gwent that they wouldn't face somewhere else?

It depends on which particular characteristics that you're referring to, but if we just take a fairly generic example, so if we compare, perhaps, a very diverse city with a less diverse village or more rural area, then there's an element of comfort, especially, for people who have, perhaps, more diverse characteristics. So, ethnic minorities, people from the LGBTQ+ population, they often find that when there aren't other people that are similar, they feel discouraged from going to participate in sport or physical activity opportunities because of what they perceive as barriers. There is a growing amount of work looking at how we can diversify offers in more rural areas and less diverse areas to allow those people to feel more comfortable, but it is a massive task, it has to be said.

Can I say, you appear, in that reply, to be presupposing that a disadvantaged community is a rural community or a community living in a small place, if you like. Now, where I'm sitting at the moment in Cardiff Bay, we've got communities all around us here that have large proportions of people who come from different backgrounds and are also some of the most deprived in Wales. So, I'm not convinced that the answer you've just given outlines an additional barrier, because it's a different population. But the population here in Cardiff, in many ways, is as disadvantaged as a different population living in a different place.

Yes. I was only using it as a generic example, as I said from the outset, it was just to provide the context. I wasn't denying that there are areas, within cities, for example, that have high levels of deprivation. 

Okay. I'm still trying to understand the fundamental point about social disadvantage as being a key determinant, and I'm not convinced that I'm getting that from the replies that you're giving at the moment. I'm interested in understanding the barriers that exist because of poverty. What you've just said I think is perfectly fair and reasonable, by the way, but I'm not sure it's defined by poverty; I think it's defined by other matters. And so we're looking at how living in an area that is disadvantaged creates an additional barrier over and above the existing barriers that may or may not exist in different places. I'm wondering, do you have any experience or research that points to differential levels of physical activity or access to physical activity, or access to sport or access to different opportunities for physical activity, as a consequence of poverty?

11:25

I specifically don't have that research, but it would certainly be able to be obtained from some of the things like the national survey, where that data is collected. We've got international evidence to demonstrate that physical activity is lower in areas of deprivation; it's not made specific to Wales, but we do have good evidence to support that.

Could you outline what that evidence is, then, please?

It's precisely that, that in those areas where they are more disadvantaged, physical activity levels are not as high, so they don't engage as regularly in physical activity. There are some questions about sport participation. It appears to be that if there is availability and cost isn't a major barrier, then those in deprived areas will participate in sport, but perhaps the range of sports is very different. So, some of the more niche sports, some of the sports that require more specific equipment or facilities, then, aren't engaged in. So, there are nuances as to what sports they will participate in.

In terms of the barriers, just to circle back to those—the cost, the time pressure. For many people, engaging in physical activity, if they're from a deprived area—especially if we're talking about sport as a subset of physical activity—it just isn't an available luxury. So, they haven't got the finances to engage in those sports. I think I saw some statistics where the average amount of money spent for those from deprived areas was something like £1.50 compared to £10 or so from those from well-off areas. So, this is a significant burden—a significant barrier, I should say, not burden—to participation for them, and that they don't typically have the time, because of the types of jobs they're involved in, maybe they have multiple different sources of income, and they have to juggle that with when they can participate in activity. I hope that answers your question a little bit more clearly than previously.

Okay. I'm grateful to you for that. And I'm interested in what you just said about the international examples. I presume, therefore, that you have examples or access to examples, which perhaps you could provide to the committee, of areas or places where that research has been conducted and what those findings are, but also whether you have access to information about the sorts of interventions that Governments are taking in those places to address those issues.

I could certainly put something together for you on the basis of the literature on the international side of things. In terms of interventions that are being taken, there is quite a range. One of the most common, from a research perspective, is in terms of increasing participation by providing activity vouchers. So, trying to overcome that cost barrier by providing people with vouchers that enable them to access opportunities that previously they couldn't, and that's been looked at in terms of both adults and children internationally, but also here in Wales. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but there was an Active programme, as it was called, that was run about three or four years ago in Swansea, where they looked at providing activity vouchers to children, and they found that it had a very positive influence on their attitudes to physical activity and enabled children from disadvantaged backgrounds to access broader opportunities for both sport and physical activity. So, there are great examples, on a local level, that have worked, but, obviously, there are elements that need to be considered, shall we say, in terms of activity vouchers, as they're not easy to do on a wide scale, as what often is cited in the literature—there's a limitation to them.

Okay. It would be useful, Melitta, if you could share that information with us about the international examples. Thank you.

Certainly. Diolch yn fawr iawn. We'll move on now to Carolyn Thomas.

Thank you. Do you have good enough data to depict sporting demand in disadvantaged communities, and do you think that more qualitative data is needed, as opposed to just quantitative data? Do you think that Sport Wales use the data effectively regarding funding for sports in disadvantaged areas? Thank you.

11:30

You might have to remind me of the second part of that question in a moment. So, to start off: do we have good-quality data? We are very fortunate that we have a great range of quite good data sets, so we're talking about things like the school sports survey, the national survey for Wales, SHRN surveys, all of those ones, that are done on a very large scale. Now, the issue with surveys is fundamentally the depth of information that they can provide, and you hit the nail on the head when you said whether or not quantitative data is sufficient to enable us to answer these questions. I think it allows us to identify where further insight is needed and then I do think we need to go and address that by getting the lived experiences of people, and that's something that is increasingly called for across the area.

One of the issues we do have with the data sets that have been collected is their accessibility. So, often, they're quite difficult to actually interrogate, they're not easily accessible to researchers or policy makers and it also influences the level of detail that can be drilled down to. So, the protected characteristics, for example, that we mentioned before, often you can't get to that level of detail on a localised scale, which prevents key conclusions from being able to be drawn. So, the data is there, it's perhaps not as user-friendly as it is in other parts of the UK, and that's something we could certainly work on. Could you remind me of the second part of your question? 

Yes. In your opinion, do you believe that Sport Wales uses that data to guide the funding to sports in disadvantaged areas?

Sport Wales do as good a job as they can within the funding landscape that they are given. I think one of the problems, perhaps, is the timelines on which funding is made available, which then limits how things can be implemented. Certainly from our perspective, from the WIPAHS perspective, where we often run evaluations of initiatives, because of the funding cycles, we often come at a slightly later date, which limits the evaluations that we could run. If we could be involved from the outset, then there might be more scope to run more efficient evaluations that would then help to feed into those funding questions and allocation of resources, perhaps.

That's great. Thank you so much. Can we move on now to Hefin David?

The three areas that Sport Wales raised with us and their three key policy approaches were aligning investments with their priorities, collaborating through regional partnerships, but I'd like to start with community use of school facilities, and what your view is, first of all, on that—community use of school facilities.

So, you mean in terms of the effectiveness of that or—?

Well, the effectiveness and ability of communities to use them, and perhaps the most effective areas in which this is being done.

As you will be fully aware, they are currently running the active education beyond the school day initiative, and we are involved with the evaluation of that. I think it has a lot of potential. There are clearly issues with accessing facilities, the upkeep of those facilities and where those costs will fall at the end of the day, but at the centre of it, making schools community hubs is a very sensible use of available resources. So, rather than trying to provide new facilities, using the facilities we already have and widening access to them is a much more cost-effective and, you would therefore hope, sustainable approach to promoting community cohesion, but also physical activity and sport participation.

Why does it need to be said, after we've been talking about community schools for so long? Why does it need to be even said that that needs to happen? Why isn't it happening as a matter of course?

That's a very good question. I don't think I know the answer, in all honesty. As you say, we have been talking about it for a long time and it's such an obvious step that you would think it would have been done before, but it certainly isn't widely done. I presume it's because of some of the additional factors around access to school facilities and what happens if something goes wrong on those school facilities, the costs of repairing things if they get damaged and where they fall if it's a community hub after school hours. It's not something that I—[Interruption.]

Know the answer to.

11:35

That's absolutely fine, by the way. It's quite refreshing, sometimes, to hear people say that.

And what about aligning investment with Sport Wales's priorities and also collaborating through regional partnerships? Are they effective approaches, do you think?

They have a lot of potential to address some of those more regional questions that perhaps get lost when we start looking at things at a national level, and I think the more collaboration we can get, the more we can join up the dots, the better. There's certainly been a lot of initial successes, I would say, from the regional partnerships, but there are still a lot of relationships that need to be bedded in, and I think there's a lot of scope to ensure it's up to its full potential and it doesn't just become something that we've tried and moved on from and reverted back to a wider lens.   

Are there examples of really good practice that Sport Wales do and others do to improve participation in disadvantaged areas?

I think one of the best, potential, things that are coming along is the daily active—how that might integrate with education and health to, theoretically, provide it across the population, so it won't be targeted at disadvantaged people, but it will access disadvantaged people in the same was as it will access any other part of the population. I think the new curriculum does have great capacity, great potential to have meaningful impacts on sport and physical activity participation, because if we can embed it within the national curriculum, then it's not an additional message, it's not an additional burden on people to engage in these things; it's just 'This is part of an expectation.' It's not an 'expectation'—that's the wrong word—but it's part of daily life. It's not something that sits on the side of it, and it puts it at the front and centre of people's awareness, and I think, increasingly, that's one of the things—. I'm slightly going on a tangent here, but bear with me. One of the things that's become very evident from policy documents is that whilst physical activity is mentioned in a lot of policies, it is rarely the focus, and it's rarely a marker of success or a primary outcome. If we were to ensure that physical activity gets that attention, so that we start to actually prioritise it, only then will we genuinely see things like these community hubs become something that people focus on developing. Otherwise it's just another task for people and they think, 'Well, I'm already trying to develop the education stream, how can I now bring in a physical activity and health stream as well?'

So, my last question then would be: to what extent do you think this is a funding issue, or is it more proportionally a priority and co-ordination issue? So, is it the fact that disadvantaged areas are finding difficulty in co-ordinating and prioritising physical activity, or is it the fact that they are short of money to do that, even if they wanted to?

I honestly think it's both. I think there is a big piece that needs to be done around co-ordination and prioritisation, but those things can only be actioned with appropriate resources and facilities and opportunities being provided. So, we can have the best priorities set, but if they then can't action it, which requires the funding, it wouldn't actually come to reality. So, I don't think one would be successful without the other.

Diolch yn fawr. Thank you very much for that.

Mi wnawn ni symud at Tom Giffard.

We'll move on to Tom Giffard.