Leading Scottish Rugby Figures Give Evidence To Holyrood's Health And Sport Committee At Murrayfield


Leading figures from the world of Scottish rugby are to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee at Murrayfield on Wednesday (25 June 2008).

In a formal meeting to be held at the national stadium, MSPs will hear rugby’s perspective on the committee’s inquiry on ‘Pathways into Sport’ – a parliamentary investigation into how Scotland can fulfil its sporting potential at all levels of participation, from recreational amateurs to world-beating professionals.

The meeting, which begins at 10.15am and is open to the public and media, will hear evidence from the following line up:

  • Jim Hamilton, Edinburgh Rugby
  • Donna Kennedy, Coach, Scottish Women’s Rugby Union Academy
  • Peter Wright, Director of Rugby, Glasgow Hawks
  • Gordon McKie, Chief Executive, Scottish Rugby
  • Kenny Murray, Senior Sports Development Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Colin Thomson, Head of Community Rugby, Scottish Rugby, and
  • Gregor Townsend, Scottish Institute of Sport Foundation.

Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Christine Grahame MSP said:

“Our parliamentary inquiry has already heard from Scottish sporting greats including Rhona Martin, Liz McColgan and Shirley Robertson.

“We’re delighted therefore, that when we visit Murrayfield, we’ll hear from Gregor Townsend and Donna Kennedy, two of Scotland’s most capped players, who have contributed so much to men’s and women’s rugby.”

The convener added:

“As well as hearing from those who have represented their country at the highest level, our inquiry will start to take evidence from those who coach, teach and administer sport in their respective fields.”

The Health and Sport Committee’s inquiry is structured in two phases:

Phase One - during the first phase the committee will hear from a number of Scottish sporting figures who have achieved success in their chosen fields.

Phase Two – in light of the evidence taken during phase one, the committee will look more systematically at: the extent to which progress is being made in developing sports pathways; the key barriers to improving both participation rate and sporting success and best practice examples from within and outwith Scotland.

The Murrayfield meeting of the committee will allow the committee to take evidence relevant to both phases, with Gordon McKie, Chief Executive, Scottish Rugby also giving evidence.

Mr McKie said:

“Scottish Rugby is delighted to welcome the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee to Murrayfield. We believe that Scottish rugby has a good record of providing pathways in to rugby at all levels, with a focus on the grassroots community game. We look forward to updating the committee about the work we have done so far, illustrated by examples from players past and present, as well as what we hope to do in the future and how politicians and Government may be able to provide assistance.”


The meeting will be held in the Smith and Wallace Suite (West Stand) at Murrayfield. Entrance to Murrayfield’s conference facilities is via Gate B on Roseburn Street (nearest to the railway bridge).

Background on the inquiry

Key questions to be considered by the Committee are:

  • To what extent is progress being made in developing sport pathways?
  • What are the key barriers to achieving sport pathways?
  • Is there best practice elsewhere which would improve pathways?
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