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Sport and physical activity policy in Wales: The impact of evaluation research on roll-out and revised implementation

Bangor University leads research in collaboration with Cardiff Metropolitan University

Research undertaken by Cardiff Metropolitan University, a partner in the Institute for Research Excellence in Sport and Exercise, has informed policy decisions and altered the nature of the provision of leisure services in Wales.  The changes implemented have influenced the engagement of both the 16 and under and 60+ age groups, which together make up 45% of the Welsh population.  Indeed, the number of young people participating in sport or physical activity at least three times per week increased from 27% in 2011 to 40% in 2013.

The researchers evaluated two national programmes central to the Welsh Government’s national strategy Climbing Higher, aimed at increasing participation in sport and physical activity. Recommendations resulting from the analysis of the Active Young People programme and the Free Swimming Initiative led to the successful roll out of the 5×60 physical activity programme and influenced the type of public swimming opportunities that exist for youngsters and older adults.

In addition to the reduction of public spending on less effective alternative provision, the work also helped to inform the implementation of the Free Swimming Programme in England.

“The research produced by the Cardiff School of Sport in relation to the Free Swimming Initiative and ‘5×60’ has impacted on the future policy direction and implementation that these programmes have taken.” Former Chief Executive Officer for Sport Wales

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