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COUNT YOURSELF IN

26 May 2006

From wheelchair basketball to boccia and table tennis to athletics there are a mass of sports on offer. You might fancy your chances as the next John Toshack or Gareth Jenkins, or prefer instead to remain behind the scenes as fundraiser or club secretaries.

Sports Minister Alun Pugh hopes that the people of Wales will step out for sport:

"Sport is dependent on volunteers: they remain the bedrock of opportunity across a range of sports. We are lucky to have a generous number of people in Wales willing to give up their time freely, gaining reward in the knowledge that they are providing opportunities for others to participate and achieve in sport.

"The key aim of the Assembly Government’s sports strategy Climbing Higher is to increase the opportunities for participation for everyone, and in disability sport we are already ahead of the game. But to ensure this continues, Disability Sport Wales relies on a steady stream of dedicated and committed volunteers."

Michelle Daltry, DSW National Development Manager said:

"Participation in sport has grown to new levels in Wales, with more that 27,000 participatory opportunities recorded last year. To ensure that standards remain and supply is met, we need more people to come forward. Volunteers are vital to the success of the scheme and without them sport simply couldn’t happen."

So this week, as the focus turns to volunteering, it’s time to move away from the sofa, drop the remote control and seize the opportunity to make your mark in disability sport. Only sport can actively improve communication, fitness and health, and you can have a part to play in delivering it.

If you want to find out more about Volunteering Counts and the role you can play, contact your local DSW development officer in your local authority sports development department.