Welsh Athletics is committed to listening to its membership and tackling the varied challenges that our clubs are facing. Throughout 2018, Welsh Athletics worked towards creating a new strategy for the Sport in Wales. Ensuring that our sport is the number one priority within the new strategy is key, but we are aware of the changing landscape across the sporting sector in Wales and considered carefully the new strategy and Vision for Sport Wales and the new UK Athletics strategy.
Working with our partners we aim to launch the new strategy in May 2019, with the key points being;
A clear Vision and Mission for the sport
- One-team approach – everyone working towards a common objective
- Clarity of purpose - for everyone including regions, clubs, volunteers
- How we can support our clubs to overcome the challenges they have highlighted
We engaged with many stakeholders across Wales through 14 open forums, a widely publicised online questionnaire and hosting a series of club and 1 to 1 meetings.
Views were sought and expressed aligned to the following key areas:
- Clubs, Coaching, Competition, Junior athletes, Volunteering, officials, facilities and communication from the Governing Body.
Welsh Athletics conducted extensive consultations with membership in 2018 and saw close to 400 members engage with us. We heard consistency is the greatest challenges facing our clubs across Wales and thirteen points were highlighted for further consideration:
- Recruit and develop coaches/leaders – aligning education and development – local delivery, short time commitments – technical events need specific focus - the need for a designated person who leads on coaching
- Professionalise Coaching – make it a desired vocation, challenge for improvement
- Recruit and develop officials – reward and recognise officials – viewed as a major challenge for the sport going forward
- Improve communication of key / inspiring messages – raise the profile of the sport – better use of ‘stars’ to inspire the next generation
- Clarify the roles of the clubs/regions – make the club environment more welcoming
- Reduce the admin burden for volunteers/clubs/parents – improve use of technology and keep it simple
- Support clubs to modernise – improve the culture within clubs – make them more welcoming and engaging
- Ensure that all key stakeholders are aware of their role in developing athletes – will assist with increasing retention rates
- Establish a clear competition pathway
- Work to simplify the sport and keep it fun
- Use the sport as a vehicle to deliver health benefits – physical activity and wellbeing
- Create Champions to inspire the Nation – don’t focus just on mass market
- Improving number and quality of facilities across Wales – access needs improving
- Coaching, Competition, Clubs – The 3 C’s – effective collaboration between them all
We continue to engage with our membership to ensure that your views are heard and that our sport continues to develop. It is vital that we as a sport continue to innovate and ensure our sport remain relevant at all ages. To support this, we aim to establish a series of young athlete forum’s so that we can engage the views of our junior athletes – with further information provided shortly. In the meantime, we welcome the views of our membership so please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the new strategy.