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Over two fifths of Welsh parents see greater access to sports and facilities for their children

RESEARCH from Royal London looks into the access Welsh children have to sports and facilities in the local community and school. It also delves into sports Welsh adults would like to try and what inspires sporting take up. Includes commentary from rugby player and Royal London ambassador, Shaunagh Brown.

  • Over two fifths (41%) of Welsh parents think children have a wider choice of sports and facilities in the local community spaces and at school than they did as children
  • A similar number (40%) say that children can play any sport they want to, and 37% of parents thought children today have more access to sporting role models of all genders and sports than when they were younger.
  • Over one in ten (12%) of women in Wales surveyed have never played rugby but would like to give it a go.
  • Just 5% of women surveyed in Wales aged 55 plus were offered the chance to play rugby at school versus 68% of men of the same age.
  • For younger people, the disparity lessens, with 35% of women 18-34 saying they had the chance to play rugby at school, compared to 53% of men.

Shaunagh Brown, rugby player and ambassador for Royal London, said: “In recent years there has been a significant increase in the visibility of women in sport, across the board. Undoubtedly, we still have a lot of work to do but the Lions Women’s tour is a great example of the progress being made. Increased accessibility at grassroots level, including a practical overhaul of facilities at grounds, coupled with visible role models for women and girls to look up to will help with this. Royal London’s meaningful commitment to coach and player pathways and grassroots funding is a significant boost to increasing access and interest in the sport, helping ensure a more diverse, bigger player and coach pool ahead of 2027.  

Royal London has recently been announced as Founding Partner of the first ever Lions Women’s team. The partnership will invest in player development in each of The British & Irish Lions constituent Unions through the delivery of a special elite players’ Pathways Funding grant. In addition, Royal London will also be investing in women’s and girls’ grassroots rugby across the UK and Ireland in the run-up to the Tour.

Susie Logan, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Royal London, said: “It’s positive to see access to traditionally ‘male’ sports improving for young girls. Access to rugby is improving for girls but there is more work to be done. It’s clear that there are people who would have liked the opportunity to play and didn’t get the chance.   

“This is why we’re so proud to be a founding partner of the first ever Lions Women’s rugby team and investing into the rugby programmes that will turn the dial even further at a grassroots level across the UK and Ireland. We are aiming to encourage more girls to participate in rugby by presenting more opportunities for them to get involved in a sport that they might not otherwise have considered.”