Hockey, Football and Rugby Combine to Share Facilities

The governing bodies of three of the biggest sports in Wales - football, hockey and rugby - have joined forces, together with Sport Wales, to work collaboratively on a project to provide improved artificial playing surfaces across Wales.

The Collaborative Sports Facilities Group has commissioned the development of an All Wales Plan (see All Wales Artificial Turf Pitch Vission & Guidance:Issue 1 below). This includes detailed evidence of the current artificial surface provision in Wales, identifies priority zones or ‘hot spots’ for the potential development of artificial pitch provision and best practice guidance in the creation, funding and management of those centres or sports hubs.

The Group is working with local authorities, education bodies and clubs from all three sports to establish and progress collaborative development opportunities. Funding provided by Sport Wales will help deliver a more fit for purpose facilities landscape where existing artificial surfaces could be improved or new pitches installed in order to meet local sporting needs. Other funding streams are also highlighted in the plan.

This unique, collaborative approach has been designed to help achieve increased participation at all levels of the sports, develop stronger clubs and create a more ‘fit for sporting-purpose facilities landscape’. Key principles the Group will consider in the allocation of funds and resources include the sharing of facilities, location, better access to facilities for women and girls and ensuring facilities complement each other rather than compete.

Sport Wales CEO Sarah Powell said

“We have invested in this ground breaking partnership in recognition that if we are going to develop and sustain facilities in the future we have to work in a different, smarter way. The development of modern surfaces that can be used all year round regardless of the weather is critical to growing the number of people involved in community sport.

I am excited by the way in which these three governing bodies have sought to bring together their common needs in order to create a spatial plan that will seek to develop the right facilities in the right places. It is particularly important that the connections have been made beyond the boundaries of sport, engaging the education sector, as to be truly sustainable we have to have a joined up view of what we need and how we can get maximum use out of any facility.

I look forward to seeing this partnership grow and enable a wider range of participants to enjoy the benefits of sport" 

WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said, “This is the most significant development for sporting participation in Wales in decades. All of us coming together for the greater good of our communities will have a profound impact on our three sporting codes. I salute Sport Wales for their vision and leadership and thank our friends in hockey and football for their partnership.” 

Hockey Wales CEO Helen Bushell comments “To have the three of the biggest team sports, both male and female, working together to make a significant difference to our sporting communities across Wales is fantastic. The partnership is strong, the vision clear and I am absolutely confident that together we can make a real difference.  I am excited about what this work will provide for our clubs, members and wider partners”.

FAW Trust CEO Neil Ward comments “Football, Rugby and Hockey together with Sport Wales have worked hard to develop this unique partnership to make a real difference to our clubs, communities and participants across Wales. The FAW and FAW Trust is fully committed to ensuring our sport is accessible to everyone and having the right facilities in the right place is key to this. I welcome the launch of this important piece of work and look forward to working collectively for the benefit of our sports".

The Vision and Guidance executive summary document (below) is intended to assist partners when considering investment in artificial surfaces and will be updated as facilities and plans are developed.

ALL WALES ARTIFICIAL TURF PITCH VISION AND GUIDANCE: ISSUE 1
Executive SummaryALL WALES ARTIFICIAL TURF PITCH VISION AND GUIDANCE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

For all Collaborative Sports enquiries and further information please contact:

Kevin Moon Welsh Football Trust: kevin@welshfootballtrust.org.uk