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As National Lottery hits 27, Sport Wales asks communities to create change

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As the National Lottery celebrates its 27th birthday, Sport Wales is encouraging communities to think about how they might use some of the £30million raised for good causes each week.

Build Dreams, Create Change is the latest campaign from the National Lottery and it is designed to inspire people to think how funding might help their own community. 

Across the UK, four striking installations are being unveiled this week to mark the birthday celebrations. In Wales, the installation – made from thousands of lottery balls – is on display at Wales Millennium Centre and it highlights the work of Street Football Wales which has received National Lottery funding.

Scott Jeynes is the Project Manager of Street Football Wales:

“Build dreams, create change is certainly something that resonates with us, 100%. Without the National Lottery, we wouldn’t have been able to reach 150 to 200 socially-excluded players. We offer drop-in football sessions and the opportunity to play at World Cups – but it’s so much more than that. Using the universal language of football, the players open up to us about issues perhaps with housing support or other needs, and we can join the dots to make sure they get the help they need. It is a life-changing project and we see players go on to gain employment and improve their situations.”

Since Sport Wales first began distributing National Lottery grants, it has directly supported 26,791 grassroots sports projects. The National Lottery has transformed the sporting landscape - it has built and upgraded facilities, purchased equipment and funded first aid and coaching courses. 

The word 'Create' made from National Lottery balls
The word 'Create' made from National Lottery balls

 

Brian Davies, CEO of Sport Wales, explains:

“Looking back at what has been achieved in Welsh sport as a result of the lottery is incredible. That’s down to the National Lottery players and we are so grateful. The majority of grants are for £10,000 or less which means that the National Lottery is helping small projects make a big difference in their community.

And the National Lottery continues to make a huge impact on Welsh sport through the Be Active Wales Fund:

“The Be Active Wales Fund, which is funded by National Lottery and Welsh Government, has to date awarded more than £5.2m, helping more than 1300 clubs get back on their feet after the pandemic first hit,” adds Brian. “The Be Active Wales Fund remains open and we urge communities across Wales to think about what they can do to improve and how they can reach new participants.”

The Be Active Wales Fund – which offers grants up to £50,000 – aims to help get more people more active. Sports clubs and projects can use the funding to upskill volunteers, buy new equipment, improve facilities or fund innovative technology to reach more people.

Pentyrch Rugby Club is all set to go green after it was handed an £8000 grant to install solar panels on the clubhouse roof. It plans to use the energy savings to invest in walking rugby groups for both men and women. Meanwhile, Kidney Wales has received funding which will be invested into football training sessions for transplant patients as well as those on dialysis.

The Torfaen Sports Development #ifyougoigo campaign was also successful in its application for funding. It offers a 10-week physical activity programme for women which includes weekly group sessions, personal one-to-one training, mentoring and nutritional advice. One participant has even reported that she no longer requires medication for anxiety and depression.

“We are passionate that we help those that need it most,” says Brian. “We welcome projects that aim to tackle inequalities in sports participation among women and girls, ethnically diverse communities, and people living in areas of deprivation.”

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