Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 9th October, 2012

Report of the Director of Development Services


Olympic and Paralympic Legacy in the Vale of Glamorgan


Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to detail the work being undertaken by the Council and its partners in terms of increasing physical activity levels, particularly given the aspirations generated by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the determination to create a legacy.  The report follows a request for consideration submitted by Councillor Claire Curtis on the subject. 


1.             That Committee note the significant amount of work already being carried out in the Vale of Glamorgan to increase physical activity participation.

2.             That an annual Sports Development Report be presented to this Scrutiny Committee detailing physical activity statistics in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             For information of the Committee.

2.             The Scrutiny Committee receives regular reports on progress and achievements of the Council's Sports Development Team.


2.             Councillor Claire Curtis has requested this report to allow this Scrutiny Committee to investigate whether the Council can build on the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and achieve the goal to "inspire a generation".

3.             The specific requests were as follows:

1.  Following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the aspirations to create a legacy for future generations; how can we encourage the young people of the Vale of Glamorgan to take up sport and to introduce new sports to the agenda (e.g. handball, wheelchair rugby etc.)?


2.  How can we help and support the various sports clubs in the Vale of Glamorgan to thrive and create our Olympic and Paralympic legend of the future, and encourage them to share best practice?


3.  How can the Vale of Glamorgan Council work with its partners (e.g. Parkwood and Local Health Trust) to increase the overall levels of sports participation for all residents of the Vale, whatever their circumstances?


4.  How can we increase the take up of sport and fitness training in our schools?


5.  How do we spot and support our talented sports people to help them reach their potential?

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Sports Development Section, together with Sport Wales, Parkwood Community Leisure and other partners is keen to build on the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to maximise opportunities for all residents of the Vale of Glamorgan to increase their physical activity levels.  The Sports Development Section has already achieved significant increases in the levels of participation, particularly amongst young people.  The 5 x 60 Scheme, the Dragon Sports Scheme and the Council's Disability Sport Development Officer, all funded via Sport Wales, have all been well received in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Statistics related to the success of these programmes are attached in the section's annual review report at Appendix A.  The Council's agreement with Sport Wales, known as the Local Authority Partnership Agreement or "LAPA" is reviewed on an annual basis and is worth approximately £500,000, which includes the free swimming grant, to the Council in terms of resources.  The priority setting for the LAPA is agreed on an annual basis in consultation with interested local organisations.   New sports such as handball and water polo have been trialled in the Vale of Glamorgan as part of the 5 x 60 programme and the free swimming programme respectively.  In addition, both Penarth Leisure Centre and the Colcot Sports Centre have hosted wheelchair rugby events.  Future aims include developing more junior opportunities in Olympic sports such as badminton, table tennis and disability swimming. 

5.             The Council also has a good history of working with local sports clubs and the Community Chest fund has been utilised to assist clubs to experiment with new initiatives.  The Council's website carries information designed to help local clubs and the Sports Development Section are extremely approachable in terms of providing assistance to help clubs expand their activities.  There are also many good examples of good school links with sporting clubs, which have been a key focus of sports development work in recent years.  Prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012, the Sports Development Team also sent out an Olympic report to local organisations detailing how the Vale of Glamorgan was aiming to benefit from the games.  A copy of this is attached at Appendix B

6.             The partnership contract with Parkwood Leisure has been specifically developed to increase physical activity opportunities.  All other bidders included information within their tenders of actions they would be looking to implement to increase usage of Council facilities.  The additional £1,000,000 of capital funding, included as an option in the tending process and used in all tender submissions, was specifically designed to encourage more usage of facilities.  Much of this capital investment will be used to expand existing fitness studios, create new multi-purpose dance studios and provide new equipment such as spin cycles.  Opportunities to work with Health Trusts, in addition to the already highly successful exercise referral scheme, to further increase physical activity levels will also be explored.

7.             School-based initiatives such as 5 x 60 and Dragon Sport will be re-evaluated over the next two years to try to maximise the funding received in terms of increasing physical activity opportunities in schools and in the community.  These initiatives often provide the platform to introduce new sports to an area such as handball, volley ball and basket ball as well as activities children and young people enjoy such as street dance and dodge ball. 

8.             The Vale of Glamorgan Council has also sought to support talented young people with the potential to achieve full international honours via the Sports Academy Scheme.  The scheme provides free use of leisure facilities for those selected to participate in the scheme and has been included in the contract with Parkwood.  In addition, centres of development for basketball and football have been established.  A gymnastic talented and able programme has been delivered in partnership with schools funded by "LAPA".  

9.             Whilst already a lot is occurring in the Vale of Glamorgan that can hopefully build on the success of the London Games, it is also acknowledged that it is the infrastructure of clubs and volunteers that are vital in ensuring sustainable opportunities continue to exist.  Many meaningful partnerships exist between sport and leisure organisations in the Vale and the Council, and the opportunities that exist to increase these will probably be the route to success. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.        As detailed in the report, the Council receives funding of approximately £500,000 per annum from Sport Wales to support its Sports Development programme, the free swimming initiative, the Community Chest fund and development grants for specific projects. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.        The Council's sport and play team are aware of the Council's commitment to sustainability and try to enforce this message when delivering sessions.  Encouraging participation in sporting activity can also add to community cohesion whilst at the same time encouraging a wider adoption of healthy lifestyle choices such as walking and cycling, thereby cutting down on the use of the private car for local trips. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        There are no legal implications associated with this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        Meaningful sports and leisure opportunities are now proven to have a positive effect on crime and disorder issues.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        The Council's Sports and Leisure Service is committed to delivering the Council's equal opportunity policies.  Equality is also a key element of the Council's contract with Parkwood Community Leisure. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        The provision of the services discussed in this report are integral to the Council's health and wellbeing objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.        This report is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        No Members have been consulted on the contents of this report as the issues are Vale wide rather than Ward specific.  

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Dave Knevett, Operational Manager, Leisure and Tourism Tel No. 01446 704817


Officers Consulted

Sport and Play Manager

Operational Manager Legal Services

Operational Manager Strategy and Support

Head of Finance


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services