Our new report 'Towards a Welsh Sports Diplomacy Strategy' looks at how Wales could harness sport to build relationships around the world.  

Our 2018 Wales Soft Power Barometer research found that sport is one of Wales' strengths on the world stage. The new report looks at how Wales can capitalise on that strength.

With a foreword from Professor Laura McAllister, former international footballer, academic and public policy expert, the report looks at how other nations have successfully developed sports diplomacy strategies. It presents the key steps that will help Wales make the most of its sporting excellence and become the first nation with a devolved government to use sports diplomacy in a planned and strategic way.

The report has eight key messages:

  • Considering the Welsh Government’s 2020 International Strategy the time is right to ask what role sport plays in Wales’ international engagement and diplomatic activities.
  • Sports diplomacy presents a unique opportunity for Wales to lead the way in terms of innovative, sub-state policy. 
  • In terms of sporting soft power assets, Wales stands above a veritable but untapped goldmine of talent, resources and opportunity.
  • The nature, responsibilities and power of diplomacy and sport are changing. Wales needs to think about what it means to be a sporting and outward facing nation today.
  • Coupling foreign policy objectives with sport is a low-risk, relatively low-cost and high-profile method of raising Wales’ international profile, growing the Welsh economy and establishing Wales as a globally responsible nation.
  • Sport interacts with and can amplify other soft power assets. Sport can be a vessel to showcase a nation’s values and sense of global responsibility.
  • Wales could join a growing list of countries with sports diplomacy strategies, offices, officers, incubators and hubs. In doing so, Wales would be the first sub-state government in the world to have a specific sports diplomacy strategy.
  • Increased partnership between government, the sports industry, Welsh and UK international agencies and the Welsh people themselves is vital to unlocking Wales’ sports diplomacy potential.

"Sport generates opportunities to engage with people across

the globe. It builds the informal networks that create and

strengthen formal and official relationships. Sport not only

plays a key role in expressing who we are, but also what we

stand for politically, as an open and accessible trading

partner, a good global citizen with an inclusive and welcoming people."

Professor, Laura McAllister

Tanni Grey-Thompson competing
The success of elite Welsh athletes such as Tanni Grey-Thompson have helped make them Wales' most successful ambassadors. ©


Welcome home parade for Welsh football team 2016
The Wales football team's Euro 2016 campaign won the team, and Wales, friends around the world. ©


See also