Wales

Welsh grassroots sport clubs caught in 'perfect storm'

Ton Pentre FC
Image caption Ton Pentre AFC warned it might fold without new volunteers

The future of grassroots sport is under threat due to it being caught in a "perfect storm", the Welsh Sports Association has said.

The group said this was caused by less money "swirling around", changes in how people spend their leisure time and entrenched views from some clubs.

Pontypridd and Cross Keys rugby clubs had to launch fundraising campaigns to survive last season.

Ton Pentre Football Club warned it might fold without new volunteers.

Victoria Ward, chief executive of the WSA, which helps sports clubs run as businesses, said there was a "moral imperative to make sport thrive", with the clubhouse often the last hub in communities.

"There is not a culture of fundraising in sport, but we perhaps need to re-assess what sport is," she told BBC Radio Wales' Gareth Lewis.

"For some, sport has not been a business, not been a charity, and is not there as a social good. But, actually, sport is often all of the above."

Image copyright Ton Pentre AFC
Image caption Ton Pentre said in April it had a "desperate" shortage of people to take the club forward

Ms Ward added sport needed to be more "savvy" when it came to tapping into other sources of funding and had to emphasise the social return that it gave to communities.

Angie Prangell, secretary of Cross Keys, said without the £15,000 the club raised last season, it would have folded, with wages and bills "stacking up".

"It got to a stage when I was nearly at breaking point," she said.

"The stress of trying to keep everything together, to get money in, and to pay bills was absolutely horrendous.

"You are doing this on top of your normal day job. You are running a business, but you are doing it as a volunteer."

Image caption Cross Keys Rugby Club secretary Angie Prangell said cash worries last season were "horrendous"

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