Sports economy in Wales thriving

Sports chiefs who united at a unique Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity seminar were told the industry has boosted the Welsh economy by £903 million. 

Leading employers in Welsh sport gathered today to look at ways of building on the thriving sport and physical activity industry by ensuring the sector was leading the way in customer service.

The seminar, titled Leading People and Understanding Customers, was held at the flagship Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It also featured the first-ever Employer’s Forum.

During the event, statistics produced by Sport Wales, were revealed showcasing the valuable contribution sport makes to the Welsh economy each year.

The results showed that despite a period of recession, spending on sport-related products – such as clothing, equipment etc – had grown by 16%, from £707 million in 2004 to £903 million in 2010.

The study - which was carried out in 2010 and concluded in 2012 - also showed the value added to the Welsh economy in 2010 by sport-related economic activity was £897 million.

Employment in the sector was also on the up, by 16% from 2004 (and 34% from 1998) to 26,000 people employed in 2010 – this accounts for 2% of the total employment in the country.

CIMSPA’s Chief Executive Officer, Sean Holt, said he was impressed with the Sport Wales findings but wanted to ensure the industry is ready to embrace the influx of people wanting to get active thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He said:

“I am really impressed by the findings produced by Sport Wales. It’s great to see sport helping to boost the economy and see employment in the sector soaring.

We have to ensure those entering the industry, coupled with those already in it, have one united voice, through CIMSPA.

Following on from the London 2012 Games there is a focus on sport like never before

We want to harness what has been achieved in Wales and grow the sector even further.

This can only be done by understanding the needs of our customers so we can ensure we’re equipped and ready to embrace what I believe is a really positive future for sport in Wales, post Olympics.”

Julian Leybourne, chair of CIMSPA Wales, said he was immensely proud of what had been achieved in sport during and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He said he wants to see more stars like Jade Jones shine in the Rio 2016 Games, as well as encouraging more people to take up sport.

Dubbing it Wales’ ‘golden games’, Mr Leybourne said winning seven medals in the Olympics and 14 medals in the Paralympics has done wonders for Welsh sport, giving it a boost like no other.

Speaking at the conference, he said:

“This is the most exciting time for the sport and physical activity sector in Wales.

We must unite to raise the standards to professionalise our sector.

This is our golden opportunity to increase participation by effective leadership and by having quality customer service.”

At the event the BBC's Editor of Sport Interactive in Wales, Amanda Powell, unveiled the BBC's Unsung Hero Award in Wales.

Speakers at the event included Dr Paul Thomas, a Leadership fellow at Sheffield Hallam University and Paul Grafton, Managing director of Mystery Shoppers Limited. 


For more information contact Donna Roddy on 0121 710 4482.


Sport Wales study

The latest research, on the economic impact of sport on the Welsh economy, came from a study commissioned by Sport Wales, which was completed in 2012 and was based on 2010 statistics.

  • Despite a period of recession, consumer expenditure on sport (for example on sports clothing, equipment and subscriptions) has grown and become a more significant factor in the Welsh economy.  Consumer expenditure on sport in 2010 was £903 million (an increase in real terms since 2004 of 16%), or 2.4% of total consumer expenditure in Wales.  The comparable figures for 2004 were £707 million and 2.3%.
  • Value-added to the Welsh economy in 2010 by sport-related economic activity was £897 million, or 2.0% of Gross Value Added (GVA1) (at basic prices).  The comparable figures for 2004 were £704 million and 1.8%.
  • Employment in sport was 26,000 in 2010, accounting for 2.0% of total employment in Wales.  This represents an increase of 16% since 2004 and 34% since 1998.

Background information:

•   Launched in 2011, CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector.

•   CIMSPA provides leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in sport and physical activity and a single unified voice for the sector. It also aims to drive standards of professional practice, which in turn will support increased participation, outcomes and profit.

•  CIMSPA has been awarded Chartership status by the Royal Privy Council, which came into effect at the start of January 2012.

Donna Roddy, Citydesk Sport, on behalf of CIMSPA

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