Community Cohesion

October 8th, 2020

Our community is at the centre of Torfaen Dolphins as we draw in young swimmers from Torfaen and from wider Gwent and south Powys. TD is committed to the principles and practice of equality of opportunity and considers swimming to be able to provide sporting opportunities for all. All members of the community should therefore have access to the services we provide.  We are an inclusive club and have an open door to all.

Based in the South Wales valleys, we are aware that we have a diverse community, that has a mixed demographic and needs.  Whilst being a performance centre we also have a role in the health and well-being of its communities.  The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the fragility of our communities and its residents as the economy and our daily lives are impacted. Before Covid-19, Torfaen was already experiencing significant challenges with three of its neighbourhoods defined by Welsh Government as being in the top 10% of deprived areas in Wales.  This accounts for 5.0% of the Torfaen local authority area and 0.2% of those in Wales.  These three wards are Trevethin, Pontnewydd and Upper Cwmbran.  When looking at the underlying conditions, in addition to low income and unemployment, indices such as health and access to the physical environment are significantly poor.  The latter being about access to open space, amenity and play areas.

Torfaen Dolphins therefore has a role to play, especially during Covid-19 to provide access to activity and sport that is inclusive and affordable that helps build community cohesion, breaks down barriers and improves the outlook and pathways of young people.  As a local sports organisation we want to knock down these barriers and ensure young people of all backgrounds have an equal opportunity and can participate in swimming which can build confidence, mental and physical health and provide an improved outlook and pathway through their lives. Swimming and Torfaen Dolphins also brings parents, guardians and families together as they drop off their children, watch training sessions and attend meets and galas.  There are also opportunities for volunteering which can help with skills development and can lead to employment as well as feeling part of a community and something that makes a positive contribution to the lives of young people.

In going forward, TD is looking at ways to engage further with communities that do not see swimming as a sport for all, finding ways to make it accessible and affordable.  Watch this space as we develop our proposals for reaching out and ensuring we maintain TD as a diverse and community-based club.

If your child has thought about taking up swimming as a sport and you have specific needs that restricts you from making this happen, you can email us confidentially at [email protected] and we can talk through how we can help and get your child in the pool.


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