Welsh Sports Ambassadors engage European partners to improve health of young people

Welsh Sports Ambassadors engage European partners to improve health of young people

6 April 2017

This week sees the launch of an innovative sports project promoting the skills of young people from Wales in creating healthy, more active lifestyles for their peers. Uniquely, it will see young people from Wales linking up with like-minded people from six other European countries to create a new network for this activity across Europe.

Managed by ColegauCymru / CollegesWales the Erasmus + Youth Sport Development Ambassadors (YSDA) project will develop new activities for communities in Wales, Slovenia, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and Bulgaria tackling social inclusion working with participants from Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) populations. This activity will be led by 28 new YSDA created by the project who will manage projects creating new sport and physical activity opportunities for young people.

Officially launching the European project and attending the first conference today, Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Social Services and Public Health said:”The YSDA project presents a fantastic opportunity for our young people from Wales to connect with their European peers and share good practice to help break down the barriers to participation in sport and physical activity. It is really exciting to be involved in the launch of this project, which is set to have a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of the people in Wales for years to come.”

The aims of the project are to build on the successful Young Ambassadors Cymru project in Wales and add a new European experience for sporting ambassadors aged 16-24. Participating in the project the young people will visit the other European countries involved to learn about the challenges facing their peers in BME communities, interact using new mobile technology and develop new and exciting projects. The impact will be huge with over 500 new participants and 5000+ hours of activity created by the young people including a new mobile APP and a project website.

ColegauCymru / CollegesWales the charity representing further education colleges and institutions’ Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said:

“It is really exciting to see the skills of students from FE colleges in Wales being used to tackle inactivity and social inclusion across Europe. This opportunity funded by the European Union will create high level learning experiences for these students and a new insight into developing a sustainable workforce for health and wellbeing in Wales. The support for this project from FE and HE institutions in Wales and our new European partners has been outstanding and provides new networking opportunities for both the YSDA and the organisations involved. “

A range of organisations across Europe are involved in the project which will be based around Further Education in Wales. These include a mix of research bodies, media, voluntary sector, sports clubs and local authorities, led by ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and supported by Sport Wales, YA Cymru, BME Sport Cymru, FE Colleges and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The YSDA project Coordinator, Rob Baynham said: ‘It’s great to see an idea becoming reality as we officially launch the YSDA project and welcome our six European partners to Wales. Through European collaboration, normalising physical activity in BME communities across Europe can become a reality’