New agreement gives commitment to Young Sports Leaders

Wales will have an unprecedented number of young sports leaders after Sport Wales and Sports Leaders UK agreed their first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The two organisations have agreed a new three year partnership to expand the army of young volunteers giving their time across Wales.

There were more that 8,500 Sports Leaders trained in Wales last year in schools, colleges, universities, outdoor centres, sports clubs, community groups and national organisations such as Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Boy's and Girls Clubs Wales.

Sport Leaders MOU

The MOU now provides a joint commitment over a number of years rather than on an annual basis and is the first of its kind for Sports Leaders UK and a home nation.

Volunteering is a core part of all Sports Leaders UK awards and qualifications, and sports leaders are required to complete a minimum amount of volunteering hours, demonstrating their learning, before being awarded a certificate.

"Getting young people to volunteer in sport has been a particular success story in Wales," said Sport Wales Chief Executive, Sarah Powell.

"We know that the younger we can get them involved the more likely we are to keep them volunteering. More volunteers also brings about more people playing sport and doing physical activity.

"If we are to continue growing numbers then we have to work in partnership with organisations like Sports Leaders UK to get the maximum out of the resources we have. This MOU is designed to establish clear responsibilities, minimise duplication and maximise effective use of resources for the benefit of young people.

"Jointly we want to improve the sports leadership that is offered in schools, further education, higher education and in the community."

Sport Leaders UK's qualifications and awards help people develop essential life skills such as organisation, motivation, communication and working with others. All of the awards and qualifications are practical - learners learn by doing rather than through written work.

Richard Norman, Chief Executive of Sports Leaders UK said;

"By giving young people a platform and encouraging them to become more involved in volunteering they develop so-called soft-skills like confidence, organisation, prioritisation and communication. These are all key aspects of what it is to be a leader in any field.

"At a time when physical inactivity is an ever prevalent issue, Sport Leaders UK truly believe that this can lead to be a better, more active future for young people across the UK. Wales is leading the way in recognising the power of empowering young leaders in local communities."

Wales has a unique partnership between Sports Leaders UK (sports leadership awards and qualifications), Sport Wales, Youth Sport Trust (Young Ambassador Movement) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), meaning that young people can develop skills, have their volunteering recognised and become role models and ambassadors.

Young People and Sport stats in Wales:

  • There were more than 8500 Sports Leaders trained in Wales last year in schools, colleges, universities, local authority sports development teams, dance organisations, outdoor centres, sports clubs, community groups and national organisations such as Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Boy's and Girls Clubs Wales.
  • 1000 Young People aged between 14 and 25 have now completed their MV50 Sport Award recognising a minimum of 50 hours volunteering contribution in sport and physcial activity in Wales.
  • There are nearly 2,500 designated Young Amabassadorsat schools and colleges across Wales tasked with being role models and promoting sport to their peers.