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Report on sport warns 'take action now or end up with a nation on the sofa'

'We must take action now or we'll have a nation sat on the sofa' - That's the warning from a report launched today by the Sport Wales Advisory Group.

It claims an increasingly ageless society, digital technology and an 'on demand' culture will have serious implications on the future of Welsh sport unless action is taken now.

"Sporting authorities in Wales are understandably focusing short-term attention on funding cycles while nearly 10 per cent of four and five year olds in Wales are classed as obese. The world around us is certain to undergo transformations in the way we live, work and play over the next 12 years, we must take action now to make sure sport is still relevant to people's lives in the near future."

– Helen Humphrey, Sport Wales Advisory Group Chair

Working with trend forecasters the board found that in order to improve the health of the nation, sport and physical activity need to be relevant and accessible to everyone.

The report stresses the importance of using social media to package and promote sport and providing activities for an ageing demographic who are continuing to take part in sport well in to their 60s and 70s.

It also highlights that team sports - with their regular training sessions and scheduled games - face a huge battle. Competing against other pressures such as family, work and leisure activities the report says team sports will need to be innovative and flexible in order to survive.

The report found team sports must become more flexible Credit: PA

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Link Wales to Northern powerhouse says Crabb

The Welsh Secretary is making a series of visits across the north

The Welsh Secretary is expected to say he wants the North of Wales to build links to the UK Government's planned Northern English powerhouse.

He's starting a two day tour of the region during which he'll visit a range of key sites, meet businesses and other organisations.

And in a speech at the annual Daily Post business awards, he's expected to say:

North Wales is a beacon for investment and jobs - a Northern Powerhouse for the Welsh economy. This government has a long-term economic plan that creates the right conditions for growth in North Wales - a recovery that is broad based and balanced; that reaches into every region of the UK, so that London and the South-east don’t suck in the best at the expense of the rest.

North Wales is not just an economic region in itself, it is part of a wider community – not just South to Swansea and Cardiff, but North and East to Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Humberside.

The Northern Powerhouse the Chancellor has spoken about is not exclusive - not restricted to England. It’s about linking the northern regions, including North Wales, to trade, grow, attract private investment, and attract the best people. Business leaders in North Wales are the driving force behind the economic recovery in Wales and the people that are making North Wales our own Northern Powerhouse.

– Stephen Crabb MP, Secretary of State for Wales

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  1. Hannah Thomas

Little change among most deprived areas of Wales

A community in Caerphilly has been ranked as the most deprived in Wales.

The area - which covers part of the St James' ward - has taken the top spot in the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

It measures factors like income, health and access to services.

Areas of Blaenau Gwent and Denbighshire were also in the top ten most deprived places.

Hannah Thomas reports:

Ambulance guidelines changed following inquest into MP's mother's death

The Welsh Ambulance Service has responded to the claims of a Conservative MP that her 'mother died under the Welsh NHS.' Details of Anne Main's comments click here.

An inquest into the death of Ms Main's mother, Rita Wiseman, found there were faults with the ambulance which attended her but they did not contribute to her death. You can read Wales Online coverage of the inquest by clicking here.

Following Anne Main's comments during Prime Minister's Questions, Richard Lee, Head of Clinical Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said:

We deeply regret the failure of this piece of equipment, and our thoughts and condolences remain with Mrs Main and her family.

The Trust has spent £4 million in the last two years updating the clinical equipment on our emergency ambulances.

Our ambulances are among the best equipped in the UK, and we have robust systems in place to ensure that faulty equipment is serviced and repaired in line with the manufacturers’ recommendations.

The Trust has a procedure in place to allow crews time to check the equipment on their vehicle at the beginning of their shift, and staff are being reminded about their responsibilities to do this.

We are in the process of producing specific guidance on the pre-use check of vacuum mattresses, the piece of equipment in question at the inquest into the death of Mrs Wiseman, and anticipate that this will be shared with staff early next week.

Since April the Trust has recruited 86 staff into its workforce across Wales, including 43 staff into its Urgent Care Service, all of whom will be operational by the end of the month; 39 Paramedics, including 11 HEI (Higher Education Institute) Paramedics, all of whom will be operational by next February; and four Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), who will be operational by next April.

A further 16 Paramedics will be appointed in the coming weeks and are expected to be operational by February, and 44 EMTs will also be officially appointed, all of whom will be operational by next April.

In addition, we are continuing to upgrade our fleet with thanks to a £4 million investment from Welsh Government, which will enable the service to buy 41 new vehicles, including emergency ambulances and specialist rapid response vehicles, to replace existing ambulance fleet.

We would like to reassure the public that we are fully committed to providing a safe and high quality ambulance service for the people of Wales.

– Richard Lee, Head of Clinical Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service

Tory policies 'like a virus preying on Wales' says Shadow Welsh Secretary

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith says the effects of Conservative policies are 'like a virus preying on Wales.' He was speaking ahead of a debate in the House of Commons on the impact of UK Government policies on Wales.

Most people in Wales are worse off - £1600 on average worse off. Wales is losing more in the social security cuts than any other part of Britain. More disabled people affected by the bedroom tax. We know in our community that the reality of a Tory government is that it is like a virus preying on Wales.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary
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