City Life is the City of Cardiff's premier lifestyle magazine.

Risky Business: Sport In Wales

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Sport is changing, and sport is challenging. Whether you’re competing, managing, or just one of the tens of thousands of support staff or volunteers out there across Wales involved in a wide variety of sports, the fact is sport is risky – accidents happen and incidents occur, that’s life.

Watkin Davies has been at the heart of Welsh sport for over forty years so understands the many risks involved. The company recently teamed up with the Welsh Sports Association (WSA) to provide insurance and risk management advice to its members. We talked to Watkin Davies’s managing Director, Gina Dixon, to find out more about this complex, risky world of sports insurance.

Gina Dixon Watkin Davies City Life Cardiff
Why is it important for Watkin Davies to be affiliated with Welsh sport?
Watkin Davies are a Welsh independent insurance brokers. We have been established for over forty years and supporting Welsh businesses has always been at the heart of what we do.

Grassroots sport plays a huge part in the development of sport in Wales and includes those at the top of their game such as Geraint Thomas, who started at a cycling club in Maindy. You need a healthy growth of sporting grass roots if champions are to be made, or simply supported, and provide the opportunity for youngsters to stay healthy and have fun. A lot of the time these local clubs are run by volunteers and parents and ensuring that they have the right level of insurance in place is where we come in, to protect the organisations and individuals within.

WSA And WD Announcement Image Edit
What experience do you have in dealing with the specialist sector?
Watkin Davies have been partners to the FAW Trust for the last three years and this is a hugely important partnership for us. We are able to support grass roots football throughout Wales and provide insurance coverage for the development centres at both Dragon Park, Newport and Colliers Park, Wrexham. These facilities provide a huge opportunity for both coaches and youth looking to develop and have a chance to play in the National teams. In addition to working with the FAW Trust we have also been supporting the Welsh Sports Association since earlier this year and are working closely with them to provide insurance and risk management services to their members.

What are you offering to Welsh sports in Wales?
We are looking to support organisations and charities throughout Wales to provide them with any advice required with regards to their insurance needs.  This can include working with an individual organisation, club or a national governing body for a sport, to carry out a review of any existing insurance coverages, comment on any areas which we feel they may wish to further consider and then conduct a thorough marketing exercise to compare pricing and cover, before then placing their insurance program into a suitable and specialist market.

This has also included arranging insurances for governing bodies who have perhaps been trading under the wider of a British governing body and are looking to branch out and have their own insurances as a Welsh national governing body in addition to this we have also supported both the Welsh Sports Association and Football Association of Wales by attending and presenting at seminars and providing greater insight into some of the risks faced by organisations and what solutions we as an insurance broker and risk manager can provide to them.

FAW National Women's & Girls Football Festival

What is your typical client base?
Our clients could range from an individual coach providing coaching to one particular sport right the way up to a national governing body, all of its clubs throughout Wales, and all of its committee members, including its national team.

What services would you typically provide to an organisation or governing body requiring insurance?
The range of risk management and insurance advice would vary depending on the type of client that we were dealing with; typically we would look to offer them a comprehensive suite of insurances to ensure adequate protection both of the individuals running the organisation and also for the organisation itself. This could range from the usual Public & Employers Liability which would include cover for volunteers as employees. Professional Liability providing cover against negligence from, advice, guidance, tuition and coaching through to management liability to provide cover for the individual committee members / trustees and the organisation itself.

In addition to this we would also look to provide cover against damage to training grounds, club houses, offices, playing surfaces, grandstands and equipment. We would also provide more specialist contingency insurances such as event insurance, cancellation and non-appearance, group personal accident and also travel insurance.

In addition to placing insurances, what additional services will you provide to Welsh Sports?
Insurance is constantly evolving and as part of our role in the support of sports throughout Wales, we are working closely with the FAW Trust and the Welsh Sports Association (WSA) including its trading on Vibrant Nation in order to support organisations, charities, clubs and national governing bodies to ensure that they have up-to-date knowledge both on any regulatory changes and also the types of insurances that can support them. We regularly look to issue circulars or blogs in conjunction with either the FAW Trust or the WSA to provide guidance and insight into key elements of risk management and regulation, such as GDPR, health and safety and various other matters.

Do you have any bespoke offerings or are you in the process of developing anything further?
As part of the FAW Trust’s Accredited Club scheme which is designed to raise standards in every junior club across the six area associations throughout Wales, Watkin Davies has worked closely with the Trust to develop an exclusive and bespoke Club Insurance offering to provide both superior coverage at the cost-effective price. The coverage is designed with the FAW in mind, and provides a number of specialised covers, such as damage to playing surfaces, floodlights, irrigation equipment, kits/balls and equipment, sightscreens and scoreboards and cups and trophies.

We are very pleased to have officially launched this early this month and have already seen a number of enquiries coming in from clubs, some of whom have struggled to obtain either the correct level of insurance cover or required and alternative price due to the costs for this type of cover in the normal open market.

Watkin Davies Insurance Consultants
15 Penlline Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 2AA
029 2062 6226

Watkin Davies Insurance (Newport)
1-5 High St, Newport, NP20 1FQ
01633 250282

Also in Ystrad Mynach
Quentin L Jones Insurance Services
22 Penallta Road, Ystrad Mynach, CF82 7AP
01443 816099

Sports clubs? Do you need promotion?
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