MSPs’ warning on sporting legacy of Glasgow Games

There are fears that too many barriers remain in place preventing sporting participation.
There are fears that too many barriers remain in place preventing sporting participation.
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Too many barriers remain to greater participation in sport across Scotland, according to a committee set up to examine the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

A perceived lack of time, shortage of local facilities and the cost of participation were found to be the biggest factors by Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee.

The work of volunteers across the country and the Active Schools programme were praised by MSPs but they found a “mixed picture” on the planned sporting legacy from the Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games.

Members of the committee visited community sports hubs and carried out a survey of more than 3000 people to gather views on sporting participation and physical activity.

The survey found that 25 per cent of females were likely not to take part in regular sport or physical activity, compared to just 13 per cent of males.

Feeling self-conscious or family commitments were the leading reasons for not taking part.

It was hoped the long-term impact of the Games would lead to an increased participation in sporting activity.

Committee convener Neil Findlay said “excellent” work was being done across the country but remained unconvinced the legacy of the Games was secured.

He added: “The committee has seen some excellent work being undertaken by enthusiastic volunteers in communities across the country but it is clear that there’s still more that needs to be done to increase levels of participation in sport and physical activity.”

“It is disappointing that the tremendous enthusiasm of volunteers in supporting the Commonwealth Games has not been converted into a legacy of ongoing participation in voluntary activity, especially in sport.

“The Scottish Government may wish to look to the Young Leaders programme in the Highlands as an example that could be rolled out across the country.

“It’s also disappointing to learn that there are still issues around accessing the school estate and that this valuable resource is not being utilised to its full potential.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Physical activity contributes to our personal, community and national wellbeing and our vision is of a Scotland where people are more active, more often.”

“We are investing at school, community and national level to deliver that and look forward to seeing how the committee proceed.

“We welcome this report and will study it carefully along with sportscotland before responding to the committee.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com