AN organisation has been formed to make communities across west Wales healthier and happier through physical activity.

Dr Sue Barnes, CEO of the Wales Air Ambulance Charity has been appointed as chair of the West Wales Sports Partnership.

The partnership is committed to working with communities to make them happier and healthier.

Dr Barnes said: “We have a fantastic opportunity to work with communities and organisations across west Wales so that we can dramatically improve health and wellbeing through the enjoyment of sport and being active.

“This is the first time an organisation like this has been created for west Wales and it’s an opportunity we need to seize.

“Community sport has so much potential in improving society as a whole and I firmly believe that by working together as a region, we can make a significant impact.”

Dr Barnes has had a range of high-profile positions in the public, private and charitable sectors and has a lifelong interest in how healthy lifestyles affect health and wellbeing and has advocated strongly for economic investment in preventative measures.

The west Wales partnership is the second in Wales and it is being called a significant milestone in the cross-sector effort to change the way that sport and physical activity is planned and delivered in communities.

Local authorities, universities, regional professional sports clubs and the local health board have come together to create the West Wales Sports Partnership.

Ben Lucas, interim chair of the partnership during its creation phase will be stepping down from the role for Dr Barnes and will remain as a board member. He said: “I’m thrilled that Dr Barnes is taking on the role of chair, this is an outstanding appointment for the partnership and the region.

“The partnership is now in a strong position and I’m sure that, under her leadership, it will deliver success for west Wales.

“By pooling our collective strength and by combining our resources and expertise, we can be really ambitious for the future of community sport.”

The West Wales Sports Partnership is recruiting a regional director and is looking to forge connections with key partners and stakeholders. To view the regional director role, visit