In an exciting collaboration, the Hartpury Sports Business Hub has joined forces with Sport Wales to initiate a unique consultancy project that promises to help nurture the growth and success of physical activity funding in Wales.
Sport Wales, the national organisation responsible for fostering sport and physical activity in Wales, is dedicated to advancing the sports landscape. The organisation plays a pivotal role in funding and supporting sports clubs and community organisations across Wales, promoting accessibility, equality, and innovation in physical activity.
Bevan Howells, an elite rugby athlete and Hartpury student, will lead the sport consultancy project by taking on the role of a researcher for Sport Wales as part of his studies in MSc Sports Management.
Through the ‘live’ project, Bevan’s primary responsibility is to delve into the qualitative data derived from over 200 ‘Reflective Logs’ issued by Sport Wales to each sporting organisation awarded funding through the Be Active Wales Fund. The fund, supported by the National Lottery, provides grants ranging from £300 to £50,000 to enhance access to physical activity, emphasising equality, sustainability, and innovation in sports across Wales.
Tasked with the analysis of this data, Bevan’s role is to uncover valuable insights and recommend best practices for future initiatives.
Bevan said: "Using content analysis to decode themes and concepts within the qualitative data has been a fascinating experience. The 12 questions answered in each of the 200 logs provide unique insights into how diverse sporting organisations in Wales have utilised funding to enhance facilities, support sustainability, fund coaching qualifications, and bridge inequalities.”
With both a background in elite sports and newly found business experience with Sport Wales, Bevan believes that this practical engagement and evidence-based learning will significantly enhance his skill set and boost his future employability.
Now transitioning from his rugby-playing days Bevan stated: “This Sports Business Hub's consultancy project has presented an exceptional opportunity for me to combine industry engagement with genuine real-world experience. Since starting the project in October, this Sport Wales project has further expanded my network and contacts within the sports industry and been an incredible experience for me.”
Having discovered the breadth of opportunities available in the sports field through his time at Hartpury, he eagerly anticipates completing the sport consultancy project for Sport Wales, further developing his project management skills, and aspires to collaborate with national governing bodies in Wales upon completion of his master's degree.
The Hartpury Sports Business Hub, managed out of the Department of Sport, provides students and staff the opportunity to engage with key local and regional sports organisations to complete live briefs and real-world research consultancy.
The Hub currently provides access to a range of organisations including Active Gloucester, Sport Wales, Bream RFC and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club as well as multinational corporations and independent businesses.
Projects like these have helped to contribute to Hartpury’s high graduate employability rates with 97% of sports graduates in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes 2022). Hartpury University also ranks 1st in the South West and 6th in the UK for Teaching Quality, according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2023.