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13 October 2016

Minister shown transformation at Cardiff International Sports Campus

Six months after taking over the management of one of Cardiff’s most iconic sporting venues, Cardiff and Vale College and Cardiff City House of Sport have given the Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, an exclusive first-look at the latest improvements and developments made at the Cardiff International Sports Campus.

The Minister was given an opportunity to experience the combination of learning and sporting activity regularly taking place across the site with a tour from Principal and Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College Mike James along with Deputy Principal, Mark Roberts and Cardiff City House of Sport Director, Steve Borley.

From a Fitzalan High School v Eastern High rugby match and a Cardiff City FC Academy training session led by Craig Bellamy, to a CAVC Rugby Academy performance analysis session, strength and conditioning sessions taking place in the gym and the College’s sport and public services learners learning in teaching rooms throughout; there was plenty going on for the Minister to see.

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said;

“I’d like to thank Cardiff and Vale College and Cardiff City House of Sport for showing me the fantastic transformation that’s taken place at the Cardiff International Sports Campus. It’s clear that the site is providing young people, the local community and elite athletes with first-rate sports and education opportunities. What’s happening here demonstrates what can be achieved when committed partners come together to work collaboratively.”

Mike James said;

“It has been a pleasure to welcome the Minister to Cardiff International Sports Campus. The Campus has undergone significant transformation over the last few months and has become a real hub of sporting activity, providing the region with a centre of excellence for sport-related education and training.

“Our focus has always been to create a home for CAVC Sport whilst also safeguarding the community and elite use of the facility. In partnership with Cardiff City House of Sport, who have significant expertise in the management and hiring of sports facilities, we have made investments that have widened the opportunities for clubs, individuals, groups and athletes to utilise the campus.”

Since the partnership’s plans to secure the future of the facility were agreed by Cardiff Council in March 2015, a £2.5m investment plan has been underway to transform the facilities. Refurbishment of the inside of the stadium has taken place to create teaching rooms, new gym facilities, a Higher Education room with sports performance analysis equipment, Learning Resource Centre and catering facilities in order to provide CAVC Sport students with an inspirational learning environment.

In addition, the external facilities have also had a makeover as Cardiff City House of Sport Director, Steve Borley, explains;

“Our determination to ensure that Cardiff International Sports Campus provides the local community with top of the range sporting facilities has seen us already invest over £300k in replacing an old Astroturf pitch with a new 3G pitch. Most recently we have matched support from the Welsh Government to create a brand new IRB and FIFA 2 Star 3G ‘Desso’ investment pitch as part of a further £560k investment which is suitable for rugby amongst other sports, and we have just received confirmation of further Welsh Government support that will match fund the installation of an Air Dome to create an all-weather indoor training facility, most often seen at professional football clubs across Europe. The shareholders of House of Sport, Berjaya Assets and CMB Engineering are Committed to community based projects and supporting Welsh sport. Tan Sri Vincent Tan has already arranged visits for Chinese and Malaysian students to experience our education and sporting venues to promote cultural and sporting links.”

Future plans for improvements also include the replacement of the athletics track to ensure it maintains its status as an international standard stadium, alongside increased opportunities for the community to access the facilities.

Mike James continues,

“Cardiff International Sports Campus provides an opportunity for us to support the region in its effort to increase sporting opportunities and participation. The step change being led by Sport Wales, which includes targeting participation rates amongst BME communities and those with high levels of economic deprivation, is closely aligned to our commitment as a college to improving participation and attainment in education to reduce the amount of young people who are becoming NEET [Not in employment, education or training], and I look forward to continuing our discussions with them going forward.”