Sport plays a vital role in Wales’ economy, identity and society. From the countless local rugby clubs across the country to Gareth Bale’s magic in the Cardiff City Stadium, sport plays a huge part in making Wales what it is. 

  • Wales has an ageing population with growing public health issues and increasing patient expectations - this is putting greater pressure on an NHS that is under serious financial pressure. In 2007, the European Commission said ‘as a tool for health enhancing physical activity, the sport movement has a greater influence than any other social movement’ - alleviating the pressure on the Welsh NHS.

  • Sport has a significant impact on the Welsh economy. In 2010, spending on sport-related products such as clothing and equipment was at £903million - a 16% increase from 2004, despite the serious recession that had occurred.

  • Wales has developed a strong tradition of hosting successful international sporting events. In recent years, Wales has hosted the Ryder Cup, the European Super Cup, and the Rugby World Cup, to name just a few of some of the world’s biggest events.

  • Wales’ national sides are going from strength to strength. The men’s senior football team will be competing in Euro 2016 in France, and the men’s rugby team has won 3 grand slams in the last decade.

  • Women's sport continues to develop and grow across Wales, with notable increases in girls taking part in extra-curricular sport, and greats such as Jazz Carlin and Frankie Jones winning gold medals for Wales.


What are the benefits of EU membership? 

  • The EU enables us to travel freely throughout its member states.

  • Wales is a net-beneficiary of the EU in terms of its financial contributions. Much of this is invested into the sport industry, such as the 1,200 miles long National Cycle Network and the £3.8m the EU provided to fund Colwyn Bay's sports Park, Eirias Park.

  • The EU allows us to tackle cross-border issues such as match-fixing alongside our fellow European nations. As an EU member state the UK is a full member of EUROPOL, the pan-EU law enforcement agency which assists Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism including criminality linked to match fixing.

  • The very best sportsmen and women from the EU’s member states are able to come and work and compete in Wales. Swansea City’s first team has several EU players - and it is much easier to sign these players given the freedom for individuals to work in any member state of the European Union.

  • The European Union is currently in the process of creating a Digital Single Market that would allow citizens to access broadcasts from across Europe - allowing us to consume more top-quality sport.


What would happen if we left the EU? 

  • Welsh sports fans following our national sides abroad would find it significantly more complicated to travel across Europe to support our teams if visas were needed every time.

  • We would risk losing the top-quality sportspeople who have come to Wales to play - whether that’s in football, rugby, or countless other sports. Some fear a Brexit could lead to more than 400 players losing the right to play in the UK.

  • Wales, or the British Government, would have to sign trade deals with the European Union - with significantly higher barriers to trade such as tariffs. This will make it more expensive for people to purchase essential sporting goods that are produced in the EU.


What could we do better in the EU? 

  • Plaid Cymru wants Wales’ reputation as a top host of sporting events to the next level. A Plaid Cymru Government would make a bid to host the Commonwealth Games in Wales in 2026 or 2030 - gathering international attention to Wales and providing a big boost to our economy.

  • A Plaid Cymru government would follow the example of the Local Sports Partnerships in the Republic of Ireland, to further develop the Inspire Wales programme and encourage greater participation in sport for those of all ages. 

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