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ACTION PLAN FOR WELSH SPORT LAUNCHED

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A sports blueprint to make Wales a 'fitter and prouder' nation has already made significant progress, Welsh secreta...
A sports blueprint to make Wales a 'fitter and prouder' nation has already made significant progress, Welsh secretary William Hague said today.

'hen I launched 'Young People and Sport in Wales' last September it set us some ambitious targets and quite rightly so. If Wales is to continue as a major force on the international sporting stage we must aim to achieve the standards of performance set by the world's best.

'Already the number of school children taking part in the extra-curricular sport has increased by four per cent since 1993/94 and over 22% of young people aged 15-24 are now members of sports clubs compared to just over 16% two years ago - exceeding the target set for 2000.

'The number of Centres for the Development of Excellence has exceeded the target of 100 set for 2000 with the establishment of 162 centres in Wales.

'But it is not all about excellence. We must also improve opportunities for those who play sport just for fun. This is essential if we are to make Wales a fitter and prouder nation and, thanks to all those involved, we have made great strides towards our goal of a brighter sporting future for Wales.'

'Young People and Sport in Wales: Moving on' outlines the progress made since the publication of last year's document.

It highlights:

-- making the Sports Council for Wales a statutory consultee on planning applications affecting playing fields

-- the introduction of regulations maintaining in full the minimum area standards for school playing fields

-- the awarding of £3.2m of Sportlot grants to projects on school sites

-- making physical education training for teachers a priority in 1997/98 under the Grants of Education Support and Training programme.

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