Caerphilly County Borough Council WSA Membership Testimonial

Jared Lougher is Sport and Leisure Development Manager at Caerphilly County Borough Council and, having always maintained a close relationship with the Welsh Sports Association (WSA), has detailed how membership has benefitted his organisation.

He said:

“We’ve been members of the WSA for a number of years now and having someone independent and impartial, working for and looking at the interests of the sport and leisure sector, was what initially attracted us.

“As a local authority, not all of the WSA’s member benefits are applicable to us – for example, we already have blanket insurance policies that cover us – but, for other business they are very attractive. In any case, it was the fact of having this collective voice for the sector that drew us to the WSA – as well as the small but very personable and approachable team over there!”

Although many WSA services and partner offers aren’t applicable to CCBC, Jared outlined a couple of benefits his organisation had made use of:

“When we first signed up to membership, we started having conversations with the WSA regarding different collaborations like partnerships; WSA contacts helped us in developing some of those!

“Through COVID-19, we rolled out some of the training that the WSA provided to our teams across sport and leisure while also putting large numbers of staff on the COVID-19 training and workshops, for all of which we benefited from member discounts of course.”

Alongside Jared was Natalie Thomas, Sport Caerphilly Team Leader at CCBC. She stated:

“It would be hard to imagine how things could have been different for NGBs due to the COVID-19 pandemic without the support we’ve had from the WSA during the past couple of years and the network they’ve provided us all with.

“Brining everybody together and having those calls with all the NGBs and other organisations has allowed us to know everybody’s stance and approach to the challenges we all faced. It helped massively and was very beneficial!”

Jared added:

“It’s the way the WSA sort of mobilised the sector as well as Welsh Government, so it wasn’t just a group of colleagues doing the same job talking about how hard the pandemic was hitting them, but rather an opportunity to influence the decision-makers and policy-makers – that’s what was critical!

“I wouldn’t like to imagine what the outcome would have been had we not had those mechanisms and groups set up. Those calls helped us and allowed us to be so responsive to the pandemic and its updates to regulations.”

Natalie added to the ways in which the WSA supports CCBC:

“We also make sure to advertise our vacancies through the WSA website. They share our openings for us, which is really beneficial because of the network of people they have attached to them. It’s another element of membership that comes in handy!”

Jared continued to explain how he’s found the personal experience with the WSA:

“The people are so important, because if you’ve got the right people in the right places, you’ll fly! And regarding the WSA, the team are always approachable and you can always have the conversations you need to have – whether that’s to confidentially share challenging situations or to obtain guidance on projects or ideas you might have!

“It’s a bit like having an individual client manager! It feels like you can just pick up the phone and talk to the team and maintain that consistent conversation – they really do make you feel like you’re part of a membership base and that you’re valued.”

Natalie added:

“When I first started this role, I was immediately invited to a meeting with WSA Commercial Manager Tom Sharp just to touch base and make an introduction. I’ve always felt if I’ve ever needed anything in terms of support, I can contact them straight away!

“That personal touch means a lot and, although we are paying for a service, it doesn’t feel that way.”

Jared went on to summarise what membership has meant for CCBC:

“I think being associated with the WSA is important; they’re a well-recognised organisation in the sector and we certainly value what they do for us. Their reputation, the partnership opportunities, and the network and collaboration that happens through the WSA is worth membership alone – that’s why we pay!”

You can discover more about the array of services the WSA provides on our Member Benefits page.

Check out our Become a Member page to sign up.

And hear what other organisations have had to say about their experience with the WSA on our Membership Testimonials page!

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