First Minister outlines legacy expectations for Wales’ participation in FIFA World Cup, referencing future roles of WSA members

First Minister outlines legacy expectations for Wales’ participation in FIFA World Cup, referencing future roles of WSA members

In the Senedd on Tuesday 13 December, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford detailed what he expected the legacy of Wales’ participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup would mean for the country, also referencing how Welsh Sports Association (WSA) members Hockey Wales, Wales Netball and Welsh Rugby Union will play roles in continuing that.

Upon questioning by Joel James MS, the First Minister explained:

“Welsh Government’s presence in Qatar allowed us to amplify knowledge of Wales across the world and to speak up for the values that matter to us. Cultural and economic benefits will be among the products of that engagement.”

Jack Sargeant MS went on to probe about the long-term effects of the aforementioned engagement, citing the importance of improved facilities at grassroots level as a result of Wales’ historic participation in the World Cup in order for future generations to emulate the current Dragons.

Mark Drakeford responded, and noted how Wales’ other participations on the global stage can continue that legacy across the sector:

“One of the legacies of Wales’s success in getting to the world cup final has to be in inspiring that new generation of young people to take part in sports of all kind, and if they’re to do that, then investment in facilities is necessary, and we work alongside the FAW, with significant investment through the sports council of Wales, both to invest in grass-roots football but also to invest in other sports that we know are succeeding here in Wales.

“Jack Sargeant can look forward to another year ahead, Llywydd, where Wales will be on that world stage. We will be in India for the Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup final, and that’s a huge thing. Hockey is an enormous sport in India—millions and millions of people across the world will see Wales again at a world cup final. Our women will be at the Netball World Cup final in South Africa later next year, and of course next year will be the year of the Rugby World Cup in France.

“The good news is that there’s plenty more to come, and that should… be an inspiration to those young people across Wales to invest their time and their energy in pastimes in which we have seen such phenomenal success for Wales in recent times.”

View, and read the transcript for, Tuesday 13 December’s full Plenary session on the Senedd website.

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