THERE has been an increase in the number of children in Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Carmarthenshire taking regular part in sport.
The Sport Wales School Sport Survey, which canvassed the opinions of 110,000 Welsh schoolchildren aged 7 to 16 from almost 1,000 schools (around two-thirds of Wales’ total) was the largest survey of its kind in the world.
The statistics show that in Neath Port Talbot 46 per cent of pupils took part in sport three or more times a week.
In Swansea it was 44 per cent and 40 per cent in Carmarthenshire.
The national average was 40 per cent.
Neath Port Talbot has the highest figure for taking part in Wales.
The three areas show above average scores when pupils were asked if they enjoyed PE lessons ‘a lot’ with Carmarthenshire (64 per cent), Neath Port Talbot (63 per cent) and Swansea (61 per cent) compared well with the national average of 60 per cent.
The results have been welcomed by the chairman of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, Andrew Davies, who said: “These figures on the level of involvement in sport by young people in the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea areas of ABMU are very encouraging.
“There is clear and strong evidence of the beneficial effects of physical activity on people's long-term health and well-being, especially when undertaken in early years. These latest figures give us a sound foundation on which to help individual well-being and build healthier communities.
“We are developing increasingly strong links with Sport Wales, as well as leading clubs such as the Ospreys and Swans, in spreading the message that sport and physical activity is not only great fun, it’s also good for you.”
In Carmarthenshire the council’s executive board member for leisure services, councillor Meryl Gravell, said: “There has been a fantastic response from schools.
“It has led to 2463 primary and 4584 secondary school pupils participating.
“It means that all secondary schools and 43 primary schools will now receive a school-specific report with a raft of information and data about pupil wellbeing and participation in physical activity.
“We will listen to the information that young people have given us, and shape PE and school sport to deliver fun, engaging and confidence-building opportunities for everyone.”