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Blog – Sport Wales and the Future Generations Act

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A blog from Emma Henwood, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Sport Wales.

Sport Wales, as one of 44 Public Bodies subject to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (2015) responded to a call for evidence from the Public Accounts Committee in the Welsh Parliament at the end of 2020.

The call for evidence asked for our views on the Act’s implementation so far, around five particular questions. We were pleased to respond to the consultation, and we believe we have embraced the Act, designing our strategic intents around its principles and have a clear focus on playing our part on supporting the wellbeing of everyone today and tomorrow.

Our key points on the five questions are summarised below, but you can now read our full response to the call for evidence on the Senedd’s website.

Boy in rugby kit gives a thumbs up

 

 

1. Awareness and understanding of the Act and its implications

Sport Wales believes that everyone in public life is required to get behind the communication of improving the wellbeing of the people of Wales, and there needs to be clear, consistent and simple messages to selling the Act to the public and beyond.

2. The resources available to public bodies to implement the Act and how effectively they have been deployed.

A lot of resources have been made available; however, they are not necessarily grounded in everyday language. There is a need to be able to connect to them and be able to act upon them simply. In comparison, for example, the ‘Simple changes’ are clear and unambiguous. 

3. Support provided to public bodies by the Future Generations Commissioner

The Commissioner’s Office has had regular contact with Sport Wales and is forthcoming with an annual meeting. We have found her and her team to be very visible and accessible, providing ideas and guidance on our wellbeing goals and the small changes we can make. The Future Generations Commissioner been a champion for the Act and has raised its profile; not being frightened to stand up for it. Her public profile has raised awareness of the Act and its potential.

4. The leadership role of the Welsh Government

The narrative from Welsh Government is very clear that the Future Generations Act is a clear ambition that aligns through all policy statements and intents. The Act is, and provides, a great opportunity to think differently and to act differently. However, it is unclear if we are maximising this opportunity at present. A more joined approach across Government to the Act would ensure better involvement and integration along the sustainable development principles.

5. Any other barriers to successful implementation of the Act (e.g. Brexit, COVID, etc.)

The main barrier to the successful implementation of the Act in terms of external forces is a lack of collective understanding and greater prioritisation of the Act. For example, instead of work to deliver against the five principles of sustainability being deprioritised, it is more imperative than ever to ensure the wellbeing of future generations is met. Future Generations commitments could be seen as hard to enact in the face of adversity and it would be easier to go back to doing what is familiar. Building back post-Covid and after our transition from the European Union must be grounded in sustainable development principles. 

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