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Post  Admin on Wed 1 Oct 2008 - 15:08

Whether as a spectator or as a participant, sport plays a large part in the life of our communities, our regions and our country.

For most of the past century one of the main ways in which Wales' identity as a nation was maintained was through sport, and of course that remains so. Indeed one might argue that if it were not for our football and rugby teams, Wales might have lost all sense of national identity. However Wales does not take part in many sports at international level, most sports have a combined Great Britain or United Kingdom team. One of the things we can discuss is how Wales can develop independent national teams in other sports.

Secondly, for us to be able to successfully compete in any sport on the world stage we need to develop the structure and organization of them from grass roots level upwards, perhaps beginning in schools. Each sport will need to develop its own structure, and we can comment on these individually, but are there also things which can be done at national or local government level to facilitate this? If we decide that we need world class facilities, how do we pay for them?

But at another level sport is just one aspect of a whole range of leisure activities. We have a growing problem with obesity and ill health brought about by poor lifestyle choices, so surely we would want a society on which we were healthier and more physically and mentally active ... not just for our own individual quality of life, but to reduce our dependence on the health service. But how do we achieve it?

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