Professor Laura McAllister has welcomed John Griffiths on his appointment as Minister of Culture and Sport and the renewed portfolio focus on sport.
The new appointment comes at a critical time for sport, with interest at a high after London 2012 and a home nation Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
And with work focused on elite success, community participation and doubling of the sporting volunteer workforce, McAllister says that the work towards the Welsh sport Vision can continue to gather pace.
“I know that John Griffiths is someone who has a personal love of sport and exercise,” said the Sport Wales Chair.
“But more than that I know he will bring a drive and enthusiasm to the clear direction we have set out for the sports sector in Wales.
“The targets we have set are ambitious and will take much hard work to reach. Doubling the number of coaches and volunteers to a high of 10% of the population is not something that will come without all stakeholders pulling together in the same direction.
“I’m particularly pleased that the profile of sport has been raised in the Cabinet reshuffle. This is an important time for sport as we look to capitalise on events like the Olympics and Paralympics and look in depth at PE and School Sport with the Ministerial Task and Finish Group Chaired by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
“With sport in schools being such a key area of work for us I am also pleased that we will have the Education Minister with us to keep advocating our priorities to the education sector. We have a shared ambition for Wales to be a World leader in school sport and PE and the work we are doing together, particularly as part of the Task and Finish Group, will set out how we can achieve this.”
Sport Wales has set out a Vision for Sport in Wales with two specific key aspirations of getting every child hooked on sport and creating a nation of champions. Underneath that are targeted strategies for elite success, investment in community sport and increasing the sporting workforce.
“We have had excellent support from Huw Lewis and I wish him the best in his new role,” adds Professor McAllister. “He has been a champion for sport, particularly around issues of equality and our community work in socially deprived areas.
“But I know we will continue to work closely with him because we have that commitment towards making sport available to all young people, regardless of their circumstances, and that means providing support to the child poverty agenda. We feel that sport can have a big impact because it reaches out to so many people.
“Other high priority areas for us such as getting more women and girls participating in sport can now gather pace, while we will need to work closely with Mark Drakeford in his new health position because physical activity and exercise is so crucial to our nation’s health.”