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- 28 November 2014 00:00
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"We must take action now or we’ll have a nation sat on the sofa.”
That’s the stark warning from a report launched on Thursday 27 November by the Sport Wales Advisory Group who , in a UK-first, have worked with trend forecasters to predict the future of Wales and how sport can remain relevant, available and attractive to everyone in society.
The report, Acting Today for An Active Tomorrow, claims that an increasingly ageless society, digital technology and an ‘on demand’ culture will have serious implications on the future of Welsh sport. And unless action is taken now, the future is bleak:
"Sporting authorities in Wales are understandably focusing short-term attention on funding cycles while nearly 10 per cent of four and five year olds in Wales are classed as obese,” explains the Chair of the Sport Wales Advisory Group Helen Humphrey. "The world around us is certain to undergo transformations in the way we live, work and play over the next 12 years, we must take action now to make sure sport is still relevant to people’s lives in the near future.”
The report reveals that the nature of ageing is changing with the ‘baby boomers’ currently making their way towards pension age with a very different outlook to previous generations.
"There are an increasing number of Welsh people who are in their 60s and 70s and older who are running the Cardiff half marathon or they’re clocking up countless miles on their bike. They’re regulars down the local tennis club. Perhaps previous generations at that age may have felt ‘older’ but that is increasingly not the case anymore. Against the backdrop of an ageing population, sports providers need to consider how they are to accommodate and exploit an ‘ageless society’ which refuses to be pigeon-holed.”
Unsurprisingly, digital technology also features in report’s recommendations of trends that will impact on the future of sport. Having already hugely transformed the way we communicate, our social media streams are already filled with others sharing their sporting achievements using health apps like Nike+, Map My Run and Strava.