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National survey gives young people a voice on sport

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Children and young people across the country are being invited to share their views in a national survey to help shape the future of sport in Wales.

The 2022 School Sport Survey, which is run by Sport Wales, opens on Monday 28 March and is aimed at pupils aged 7 to 16 (school years 3 to 11).

Not only will the School Sport Survey paint a picture of which sports and activities children are currently taking part in both inside and outside of school, and how often, it will also uncover which sports and activities they’d like to have the opportunity to enjoy more of. 

The survey will also discover valuable insight about the barriers that prevent young people from taking part in sport.

This will be the fifth time since 2011 that Sport Wales has conducted the survey into the activity habits of young people. The last survey, in 2018, gathered the views of more than 120,000 children from over 1,000 schools. 

Brian Davies, Sport Wales’ Acting CEO said: “We want every young person in Wales to be active, healthy and happy, experiencing the wide variety of positive benefits that sport brings. 

“Sadly, there are large numbers of children who are taking part in physical activity less than the recommended three times a week. Over half of all girls aren’t getting enough exercise, while there is also less participation among young people living in areas of deprivation, within ethnically diverse communities and among children with disabilities.

“However, the 2018 School Sport Survey told us that 96% of young people in Wales would like to do more sport, which shows there is a huge level of opportunity if the offer is appropriate. 

“This year’s survey will help us and our partners across sport, education and within local authorities, to build on previous survey findings and continue working hard to provide opportunities that are focused on the needs and motivations of young people.

“By gathering and listening to their views, the Welsh sport sector can identify any gaps in provision in communities across the country, make more informed decisions about future resources, and have a better understanding of what support is needed to help remove any barriers to participation. 

“Given the impact that COVID-19 has had on the Welsh sport sector, and indeed, the country as a whole, I think this year’s survey will be even more important than ever in understanding young people’s activity habits and attitudes towards sport and physical activity.”

Brian added: “Every school that supports the completion of the School Sport Survey is part of a national community helping the drive for young people to be more active. 

“As always, we are extremely grateful for the huge amount of support that our partners, and local authority partners in particular, put into the delivery of the School Sport Survey.”

Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “After two years of a pandemic there has never been a more important time to get young people's views on their access to physical activity. Sport is good for body and mind, and gives young people opportunities to socialise with their friends. 

"It is critical to gain a real perspective on how this period has changed their outlook, what impact it has had on their well-being and what can be done to reflect that change in how sport and physical activity is delivered.”

All schools in Wales will receive an email containing their own unique link to the online survey on Monday 28 March. They will have until Friday 22 July to take part. The results of the survey will be published in the autumn.

Schools are also advised to check what they need to do in order to qualify for their own individual School Sport Survey Report. This report can then be used by the school to tailor their sport and wellbeing activities to better suit their pupils’ needs. 

Children jumping off a small wall