The barriers to participation in sport and the availability of sports facilities across the country are just some of the issues to be explored as members of the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee undertake a series of visits across Scotland this morning (Monday 27 February).
MSPs will carry out visits today to Glasgow and Aviemore and on Tuesday to Edinburgh to help inform their inquiry, Sport for Everyone. The inquiry will follow up on the impact of the 2014 Commonwealth Games to determine the extent it has increased access to and participation in sport in the medium to long term.
A key part of Scotland’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games was ensuring an “active legacy” through excellent sporting infrastructure increasing access to sport and increased levels of sporting activity across Scotland.
Whilst in Glasgow MSPs will visit The Bridge Community Centre to explore with members of the local community what prevents them from taking part in sport. They will then go to the Phoenix Community Centre, which is largely self-funded, to hear about the centre’s range of sporting facilities on offer from boxing to table tennis. Following this they will head to Drumchapel Sports Centre which has a vision ‘for a confident, healthy and aspiring community in Drumchapel’.
Speaking ahead of the visits, Neil Findlay MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:
“The Commonwealth Games were meant to deliver a long-lasting legacy by encouraging more people to take part in sport. So where better to determine what impact this has had but in Glasgow itself where we want to talk to local people about whether they take part in sport and if not then why not?
“Whilst watching sport from the comfort of an arm-chair might be something that is widespread in living rooms up and down Scotland, what we want to find out is what we can do to encourage more people to get active.
“We’ve already heard from our survey that some of the reasons for not participating in sport were time, money and a lack of facilities. These visits will help us to understand what more can be done to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.”
In Aviemore members will visit Aviemore Community Sport Hub which is based at the new Aviemore Primary School and Community Centre. They will then travel to Kingussie High School to hear more about the ‘active schools’ programme which aims to provide more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before, during and after school.
On Tuesday whilst in Edinburgh they will visit Spartans Community Football Academy to hear about the work they are doing in the local community that have a positive social impact. They will also go to Muirhouse Millennium Centre to talk to the local community about the reasons why they do not take part in sport.
The survey that the Committee conducted, which was completed by over 3,000 people across Scotland, asked what the reasons were for why people did not participate in sport.