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“Welsh Government commitment to the Welsh Language is questionable” says Aled Roberts

2013 Mehefin 3 11:36 AM

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Education in the Assembly, has questioned the Welsh Government's commitment to the Welsh Language after it emerged that out of 44 sporting bodies in Wales only five have Welsh language websites. All of the sporting bodies receive public money.

Commenting, Aled Roberts said:

"These figures are yet another blow to the Welsh language, coming as they do in the wake of the latest Census figures which highlighted the precarious situation of the Welsh language at present.

"Only last week, the First Minister announced that he is about to embark on a "big conversation" on the future of Welsh, where he stressed the importance of young people using Welsh outside the classroom.

"In reality however, in North Wales there are large numbers of children who would like to be able to access Welsh-medium classrooms but there are no places available, neither can they make use of Welsh-speaking sports coaches or websites.

"Local authorities must also get involved and see that Welsh is used by their sports coaches, which saves organisations such as the Urdd from finding additional funds to promote the language.

"In the current circumstances, I would suggest that perhaps the first conversation the Welsh Government, its Ministers and Sport Wales needs to have is with those organisations who receive so much public money but who seem to have a total disregard for the Welsh language.

"It is particularly disappointing to see that the Welsh Rugby Union isn't stepping up to the mark and using the Welsh language for its promotional material.

"The Welsh Government has had years to prepare and organise itself to find ways to improve the use of Welsh, and I must now seriously question their commitment to the Welsh language.

"If the Welsh Government was more pro-active in ensuring bodies were doing more to comply with their Welsh language policies before being given more money through Sports Wales then the big conversation may be more meaningful."