There should be plenty of Welsh voices offering support to Team Cymru in Birmingham at the Commonwealth Games this summer – thanks to Street Games.
As part of their #Inspiration2022 campaign, StreetGames have arranged for almost 500 young people from Wales to be at the Games on funded day trips with tickets to take in all the action.
It means Welsh youngsters will get the chance to give vocal backing to the likes of runner Melissa Courtney, boxer Rosie Eccles and hockey star Luke Hawker as well as others.
Outside the stadia, there will be another large group of Welsh youngsters camping outdoors who will be experiencing what every Games is about – making friendships, learning skills and developing their own leadership abilities.
It is all part of a busy summer for StreetGames, a charity partner of Sport Wales committed to making access to sport and physical activity more equal and affordable.
The #Inspiration2022 campaign will also be providing similar opportunities for young people at other events this year such as the Rugby League World Cup, Wimbledon and the UEFA Women’s Euro finals.
StreetGames recently held their Winter of Wellbeing Celebration Event at the Principality Stadium where they outlined some of their work in bringing sport and physical activity to young people in low income and underserved communities.
The idea is to ensure that the big splash made by events like the Commonwealth Games, make waves that reach the doorsteps of everyone.
Claire Lane, national director for StreetGames, says: “This summer and into the autumn we are harnessing the power of major events and linking them to young people and communities that historically would have had nothing to do with these events and wouldn’t have been connected with them in any form.
“Over the past couple of years, due to the pandemic, there has been such a lack of opportunity for many people when it comes to accessing sport.
“That’s far more of an issue for young people living in poverty. Sport becomes far removed from their lives.
“It’s about making sure the ripple effect of these events is felt as far afield as the communities we work with.”
The ethos of StreetGames is about keeping it simple, easy, affordable and hassle-free through their network of doorstep sports clubs.
They may not be on every Welsh street corner – resources don’t allow for that – but where they exist, there are as likely to be an organiser with a bag of kit in a car park or village hall as in a purpose-built sports centre.