StreetGames Wales and Wales Golf at the Welsh Sports Industry Awards

The Welsh Sports Association Sports Industry Awards are the event of the year in terms of celebrating and showcasing the amazing work going on across the sport sector in Wales, and this year, StreetGames were nominated and shortlisted in the ‘Best Collaboration Initiative’ category. Our collaboration with Wales Golf to deliver the Gareth Bale Festival of Sport alongside the Championships in September 2023 was a huge success, and it is fantastic to be recognised for this achievement at such a prestigious event.

The awards ceremony, held at The Parkgate Hotel in Cardiff on the 6th June, saw organisations from across Wales come together to celebrate and recognise each other’s outstanding achievements over eight different award categories. The evening was a truly brilliant showcase of the power of sport in Wales, and the way in which it is changing lives.

To be shortlisted for the award with Wales Golf is a huge achievement and one of which we are incredibly proud. The partnership approach between the StreetGames team in Wales and such a forward thinking NGB is the key to the success of this project, and one which is set to grow as we move into the future.

Category winners, Disability Sport Wales were praised for their Para Sport Festival and the way in which multiple partners come together to make a truly inspirational multi-sport, multi-venue event happen. Fellow nominees Cricket Wales and Cymru Football Foundation were also applauded for their work together to deliver the Ponthir Community Hub and multi-sport facility.

Claire Lane, National Director for StreetGames in Wales said: “The event was a great celebration of sport in Wales, and the impact each organisation is having both individually and collectively. It was great to be amongst the nominees, and congratulations to all the winners. We pride ourselves on our collaborative ways of working with partners in Wales, so it was brilliant to be recognised for that in this particular category!”

About the Gareth Bale Festival of Sport

The Gareth Bale Festival of Sport is an annual event, piloted in 2022, that enables young people living in some of the most underserved communities in South Wales to access a safe, fun and exciting one-day multi-sport festival, held at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The aim of this event is to highlight the importance of non-specialisation in sport for younger children and provide opportunities for young people living in low income, underserved communities to try a range of different sports and activities. After a pilot event in 2022, the festival was delivered at scale in 2023. To date, sports on offer have included golf, football, badminton, cycling, table tennis, street dance, bowls, rugby and basketball.

The event is delivered alongside the elite junior golf championships event, hosted in partnership with Wales Golf, CAA Sports and Gareth Bale, which takes place on the same weekend.

The 2023 Festival of Sport supported 50 young people who live in underserved communities across South Wales to access the event. Working in partnership with seven national governing bodies of sport, the event showcased the power of sport and physical activity and the difference it can make to those that may not otherwise get the opportunity to take part. 87% of participants, and 50% of the adult leaders had never been to The Celtic Manor before, despite all living within a 45-minute radius, and some young people being able to see the resort from their homes. 98% of participants stated that they tried a new activity at the festival. The participants, aged between 11 and 22 years old, were supported to try new activities in a relaxed and informal way, with fun at the heart of everything.

When asked what impact events like this can have on the participants, one group leader said: “For our young people it gave them confidence to try new things … and a chance to be with peers in a safe environment.”

Another leader said: “The event was probably a once in a lifetime chance, one that they will never forget.”

Participants were all awarded a signed certificate and signed shirt for their organisation, as well as having the chance to take part in a Q&A session with Gareth Bale. Gareth Bale took the time to talk with every participant and leader, participated in activities with them, recorded videos and took photos as well as signing t-shirts. The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of participants and adult leaders saying they would attend another event like this in the future. When asked what the best part of the event was, one participant said “I got to meet my hero, I will never be able to say thank you enough”, with another adding, “I tried loads of new stuff, it was the best day of my life.”

Claire Lane, National Director for StreetGames in Wales, said: “The event was a fantastic testament to sport in Wales, demonstrating how powerful multi-sport opportunities are. Every single young person left the event having tried something new, met new people and expanded their horizons. The activity providers were fantastic, adapting to suit the needs of the young people and we cannot thank Gareth Bale enough for the time he spent with all participants. It really is a day that they will never forget.”

The festival will return to Newport in 2024 on Sunday 15th September; watch this space for more details coming soon!

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