"I'VE been a chronic under-achiever at various sports, and loved every minute."

That's the light-hearted attitude of this month’s Sport Pembrokeshire profile, member of the Sport Pembrokeshire Peripatetic PE Team, Rick Walton.

Rick sat down and spoke about how he got involved in sport.

How did you get involved in Sport Pembrokeshire?

"I was fortunate enough to be ‘the cricket man’ – i.e. Community Cricket Coach for Pembs – for about a decade, prior to joining Sport Pembrokeshire a few months ago."

What does your role entail?

"I am part of the peripatetic PE team, and am also leading on some research, alongside Swansea University, around child wellbeing. So two very different roles."

What particularly interests you about sport and your role?

"I am becoming increasingly interested in how we capture the impact and benefits of activity.

"Clearly one of the issues around this is that much of the short-term and long-term ‘gain’ is hard to measure. In our research work I am trying to encourage children to offer real insights into this without too much direction from teachers or coaches."

Why it is so important to keep investing in school and community sport for youngsters?

"It has never, arguably, been more important for young people to live well and develop a healthy relationship with activity – whether that be by walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, or playing cricket/football/netball/whatever.

"On a human level, this is essential: on an economic level, all societies need their populations to get healthier. Early experiences of sport and activity are utterly critical to that aspiration towards wellness for all."

What sort of difference has the pandemic made to the team?

"Covid has been difficult for all of us. In practical terms there have, quite rightly, been important protocols to observe. I know my colleagues in Sport Pembs have tried to be particularly diligent around this."

What are your hopes for school sport in Pembrokeshire moving forward?

"I take no backward steps as an advocate for sport. I believe it is actually under-used, in schools, as a means to educate, inspire and develop young people. The cooperation, communication, creativity and skills used to make games work can and do have profound consequences on wider horizons."