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Sport Wales has welcomed a National Assembly for Wales report that highlights the importance of physical activity in tackling childhood obesity.

Sport Wales – the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical recreation – welcomes the reference to the need for greater collaboration and sharing of practice across the public sector in Wales to tackle this vital health issue.

Simon Jones, public affairs manager for Sport Wales, said: “We firmly believe that sport has a key role to play in improving the overall health of the nation.
“It is pleasing that the Inquiry has highlighted the progress that has been made and the impact some of our programmes are having, but this is just part of our approach to get Welsh youngsters active.
“The increases in participation we have seen – including 50% more children hooked on sport - have been created through the sport sector working smarter and in greater partnership with education sector.

“To take that to the next level, we firmly believe that there is a case to see greater collaboration between the sport and leisure sector and the health sector in tackling illnesses such as obesity.

“If we are to reduce obesity we need to be making participation in physical activity a natural part of people’s lives, a habit built from the earliest age that is almost not a choice but a lifestyle. If we do not encourage this lifestyle change collectively from the earliest age then the future bill for health services in Wales will be unsustainable,
“We have to encourage people to take responsibility for being more active, but play our part in ensuring that this decision is as easy for them to make as possible.
“Enhancing the importance of PE within the Welsh curriculum would send out a clear message to all children and young people, that your physical health is as important as your academic ability and we welcome the recent announcement by Welsh Government to invest in the development of a physical literacy framework in Wales

“In the last two years, there has been a five per cent drop (15,000) in the number of young people who don’t take part in any form of sport or physical activity. We must continue this trend so that we have a generational benefit of better health through exercise.

“There are the issues raised in the Inquiry such as the tightening of public finances and the participation gaps we see amongst certain people in Wales. These are high on our agenda and must tackled with sound insight, planning and investment. Most importantly we must work in partnership as we know that has a greater impact.”
You can read our full submission here: http://bit.ly/1ly7W7V

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