Photo of: James Ledger in DSW Podcast conversation with Funmi Oduwaiye

Companies including BBC Cymru Wales, WRU, Whisper, Welsh Sports Association, The Urdd, Chambers Wales, Speakeasy Club, Youth Sport Trust, Swim Wales, Sportin Wales magazine, Sport Wales and Lloyd Bell Productions were on site to discuss career and sporting pathway opportunities, while lunch was provided by AF Blakemore Ltd (SPAR UK).
There was also a special live recording of the Disability Sport Wales Podcast, with host T11 sprinter James Ledger chatting to athlete Funmi Oduwaiye (who has just returned to her home in Cardiff after competing at her first World Para Athletics Championships), Welsh international Wheelchair Basketball player Libi Phillips (who plays for Cardiff Met Archers in the British Wheelchair Basketball Women’s Premier League) and Chloe Jordan (Wales Project Officer at Youth Sport Trust, co-Chair of the European Hockey Federation Youth Panel, and a Young Delegate for ENGSO Youth on the education and employability working group, and who was also one of the initial members of the DSW National Youth Board when it was established in 2016).
Tramshed Cardiff was the ideal location, not just because it is a great multi-faceted and accessible entertainments venue but it is also home to Whisper Cymru, which will produce and broadcast the 2024 Paris Paralympics coverage from its Cardiff base. 
The Disabled Young Leaders in Sport Inspiring Connections Event was one of a number of events that Disability Sport Wales is holding with a focus on a #JustAsk theme, and it’s hoped that it will become an annual event.

James Ledger in DSW Podcast conversation with Libi Phillips

Fiona Reid, CEO of Disability Sport Wales, said: “It was wonderful being part of the event today. The aim was to connect young disabled people with employers and organisations who provide opportunities to develop leadership skills for sport in the future, and to inspire those young people to achieve their potential as athletes or as part of the wider workforce. The event really provided a great starting point for that. The range of partners here to support the event and showcase their opportunities to young disabled people was phenomenal. This is an event which will continue to grow and connect people. The live podcast added to that, capturing the stories of three superb leaders, with great futures ahead of them; and there are so many more disabled young people with similar potential who may not be connecting into the opportunities the sport sector can offer – we want to be part of changing that.”

James Ledger in DSW Podcast conversation with Chloe Jordan

Liam Scott, WRU Head of Regions and Rugby Inclusion, said: “Since 2016 the WRU has been making vast efforts to ensure that rugby is accessible to everybody. From the women's game to our inclusion strategy of engaging people in wheelchair rugby, inclusive community clubs, visually impaired rugby, Wales deaf engagement, and all sorts of other opportunities so that everybody in Wales has the chance to be involved in a format of the game that is suited to their wants, needs and abilities. We are very fortunate that we have three hundred bricks and mortar rugby clubs across Wales which are historically the centre of their communities – places where people can connect, meet new friends and have positive experiences. In a perfect world, we would like all 3.2 million people in Wales to have a touch point with the Welsh Rugby Union. The WRU has the insport Gold standard, one of the first National Governing Bodies to do so, and we continue to grow our ‘jersey for all’ commitment across the different formats of the game in Wales.”
Darren Carew, WRU National Inclusion Manager, said: “For us it’s all about offering opportunities for everyone and the WRU has been on this journey for quite a long period of time. We are the biggest National Governing Body in in Wales, so we have a responsibility to our community and reflect that community – and it's not just about middle-aged men playing rugby on the weekend any more. As an organisation we've been able to flex to the needs of the people. I've got disabilities myself and I'm a pretty good coach, so there is more than just playing opportunities. If you want to volunteer, become a referee, coach, or become an apprentice, there are opportunities for you there and this is why we are here today.”
Amy Brumby, Swim Wales Sport Development and Pathway Manager, said: “Events like Disabled Young Leaders are important to Swim Wales to allow us to showcase that swimming and aquatics is an inclusive environment. We want to encourage everyone into aquatics, from participation-based activities to elite level of para swimming and trying out different types of aquatic sports like water polo, diving, artistic swimming. Our mission is to show that aquatics is for everyone for life and to make sure that we have pathways for anyone to come and enjoy being in and around water.”
Funmi Oduwaiye said: “Events like the Disabled Young Leaders day are so important to engage with young people who don’t know the opportunities that are out there. Sport is a wonderful thing that brings people together and what you can achieve is often way beyond what you believe is possible. I tried a lot of different sports before I got into athletics – swimming, netball, tennis, figure skating, rugby and also ballet. Making me aware of all the different opportunities and giving everything a go was something my mum really encouraged me to do, and it led me to the Para World Championships. I watched a documentary on television called Rising Phoenix and I was competing against one of the people who starred in that in Paris, which for me is completely crazy! I’m more interested in disability sport than any other sport because you won’t hear stories like you’ll hear in disability sport. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s interesting and sport brings people together.”
For more information, please contact Paul Evans DSW Communications Officer on: / 07710 743167

Topics in this article:
Welsh Rugby Union (WRU)Swim WalesSPAR UK (AF Blakemore Ltd)UrddSport Wales


Accessibility Options

Text Size

Select an option:


Select an option:


Please select your preference:

Paragraph Font

You may optionally select to view this website in Lato or Atkinson Hyperlegible.

Please select your preference:

Use of Capital Letters

You can choose to minimise the use of capital letters for headings and sub-headings if you find them easier to read in Sentence Case. Some text, including acronyms, may still be shown in capital letters.

Please select your preference:

Motion Options

This site sometimes uses animation to bring the content to life. If you'd like to disable this, you can do.

Please select your preference:

Accessibility Statement

Read our Accessibility Statement