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Funding makes its mark on Baton route

Sports clubs that have reaped the rewards of Sport Wales’ funding will be visited along the Queen’s Baton Relay route as it makes its way through Wales.

There are 66 clubs and facilities along the route that have benefitted from our National Lottery supported schemes and five of those projects will host the Queen’s Baton.

The Baton will reach Welsh shores in Anglesey on the 29th June and will travel from the north, along the west coast to the southeast across 5 days.

Players playing football on a 3G pitch
The 3G pitch at Holyhead


Day 1 will see the town of Holyhead welcome the Queen’s Baton to Wales with it visiting two sports venues which have receiving funding from Sport Wales.

Y Parc - Holyhead Park 3G Pitch

One of those will be the multi-sport 3G pitch at Holyhead Park. Thanks to the National Lottery, the Wales Collaborative Sports Facilities Group (FAW, Hockey Wales, WRU and Sport Wales) funded the creation of Caergybi’s first ever 3G pitch. 

Old tennis courts were transformed into this all-weather facility, equipped with shock pads making the pitch suitable for both rugby and football.

Robert Henderson of Holyhead Town Council said “Since the opening of the pitch in August 2021, there has been extensive use and it is regularly booked out by sports clubs and local businesses.

With the facility being the first of its kind in Caergybi it has been well received and utilised by the community. Football teams and one to one coaches have all benefited from the projects that have been carried out at Y Parc.”

There will be a range of different sporting activities taking place when the Baton bearers visit.

Man lifting weights in a gym
Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre


Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre (HAWFC)

Later in the day, the baton will make its way to HAWFC – a facility steeped in Commonwealth Games history – where there will be a weightlifting competition. The 54-year-old club has produced weightlifting Commonwealth medallists since their founder Bob Wrench won bronze in 1974.

Their Commonwealth Games legacy could continue this year in Birmingham, with Hannah Powell competing for Team Wales. HAWFC’s previous medallists include Wales’ National Coach, Ray Williams (Gold 1986), Karl Jones (Silver 1990) and Gareth Evans (Gold 2018).

Funding from Sport Wales for upgrades to the much-loved centre will ensure that the next generation of athletes can follow in the footsteps of the club’s medallists, and further entrench HAWFC’s place in Welsh Commonwealth Games history. 

Ski4All Wales – Pembrey Country Park

Did you know you can ski in Pembrey Country Park? On the third day of the Queen’s Baton relay in Wales, the Baton will be skied up and down Pembrey dry ski slope by members of Ski4All Wales. 

Ski4All Wales is an adaptive ski club for adults with physical, visual and neurological disabilities based at Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire. 

Bethan Drinkall at Ski4All Wales said: “Our club enables skiers with additional needs the freedom to enjoy the benefits of such an extreme sport. It facilitates mental and physical wellbeing, fun and camaraderie.

We have invited our skiers to join us on July 1st to allow all of our members to be able to participate in this prestigious event.”

A Be Active Wales Fund grant of £1500 was handed to the club to buy wipes, masks, gloves, anti-bacterial gel and other cleaning equipment during the pandemic.

Ski4All Wales wouldn’t have been able to reopen and continue its amazing work without this National Lottery support.

Cambrian & Clydach Vale Boys & Girls Club – King George’s Pitch

The baton makes its way through Rhondda Cynon Taf on the day four, where it visits a football club at the heart of its community – Cambrian & Clydach Vale Boys & Girls Club.

With 11 teams from Under 7’s up to Under 16’s and an academy, a Be Active Wales Fund grant of almost £3,000 was given to the club to help the club get young people back in the game during the pandemic.

Different sporting activities involving the local children at the RCT council-funded King George V pitch and athletics track will be taking place when the Queen’s Baton Relay reaches Clydach Vale.

Cardiff Beach Volleyball – Victoria Park

On the fifth and final day of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Wales, the Baton will reach a non-coastal beach in the middle of Victoria Park.

Victoria Park is now home to one of the newest Commonwealth Games sports – beach volleyball. Cardiff Beach Volleyball Club proudly hosts six golden sand courts, enabling the local community to try out the sport as well as keeping fit and active. 

Carl Harwood at Cardiff Beach Volleyball said: “Being selected as the only location the Baton will visit in Cardiff is a great honour for us. Especially considering we were laughed at when we first approached the idea of setting up a volleyball centre in a park.

The club is the only one of its kind in the UK - it brings a sport that is not normally accessible more accessible to all. Our goal has always been to provide a unique location in the UK where beach volleyball can be played by all abilities, genders and age groups.

Our juniors have grown tenfold since we first started, and we now have children representing Wales in national events throughout the UK.”

When the club was damaged by storms earlier this year, Cardiff Beach Volleyball applied for emergency funding from Sport Wales. They were able to access a grant of £2,500 to ensure the volleyball centre was safe for their players to use.

None of this would be possible without the support of the National Lottery, who enable us to create funding, like the Be Active Wales Fund, for community clubs and sporting facilities across Wales.