Pathways into sport inquiry calls for evidence


Is a lack of the right type of facilities in schools compromising sports education? Examining the barriers that Scots face in the early stages of their pathways into sport will form the second phase of an inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee.

Launching the next phase of its Inquiry on Pathways Into Sport today with a call for written evidence, the committee will specifically look at children and sport, community facilities and coaching.

Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Christine Grahame MSP said: “Chris Hoy, Ross Edgar, David Florence, Katherine Grainger and Jim Anderson performed brilliantly at the recent Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. While their success demonstrates that Scottish athletes can perform well at the elite level, the committee is concerned that the number of Scots taking part in sport is declining and targets for young people’s participation are not being met.”

During the first phase of the inquiry several Scottish sporting greats gave evidence on their own personal pathways into sport, including Rhona Martin, Liz McColgan, Shirley Robertson and Gregor Townsend.

The committee now invites the views of all interested parties, organisations and individuals on the following specific questions—

Children and sport

  • What level of sport and physical activity should be provided by primary and, separately, secondary schools?
  • Is a lack of the right type of facilities in schools compromising sports education?
  • Who has the responsibility for ensuring that there is adequate sports education in the school system?
  • Are there enough of the right facilities in schools to deliver appropriate levels of sports education?
  • How can the links between schools and sports clubs be improved?
  • What differences have Active Schools Co-ordinators made to the links between schools and clubs?
  • What are the barriers to universal access for children to sport, for example travel costs and the cost of equipment and kit?

Community facilities

  • How effective has the National and Regional Sports Facilities Strategy been in delivering facilities for community use?
  • Do local authorities have their own community sports facilities strategies? Where such strategies exist what role do community planning partnerships and community health partnerships play in developing those strategies?
  • What are the barriers to making better use of school and other facilities by, for example, the wider community and how can such barriers be overcome?
  • How can examples of best practice in the provision of facilities be learned from and rolled out on a wider basis?
  • What lessons can be learnt from the way in which community sports facilities are used in other countries?


  • Are there enough coaches and volunteers to support sport in Scotland?
  • What systems exist to ensure that best use is made of the coaches who are currently available?
  • What are the barriers to more people coaching and volunteering to support sport in Scotland?

How to submit your evidence
Before making a submission, please read our policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory committees.

The closing date for written submission is Friday 21 November 2008. Owing to the timescale required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the prior agreement of the Convener. Responses should be no more than six sides of A4 in length.

You may also make hard-copy written submissions to:
Health and Sport Committee
Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

What happens next?
The Committee will consider all submissions received and identify issues emerging from the evidence which it wishes to investigate further through oral evidence sessions.

A list of organisations and individuals participating in oral evidence sessions will be published on the Committee agenda papers in advance of the relevant meeting.

Should you require alternative formats of this document or further information or assistance in making a written submission to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerking team.

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