IT is just four months since we were all cheering on Lynsey Sharp as she flew the flag for Britain against the best in the world at the Olympics.
That must have all seemed a very long time ago to Scotland’s two-time athlete of the year as she trudged away miserably from Meadowbank Stadium last night.
Her complaint about her training needs being sidelined for antique fairs and other money-making ventures will be familiar to anyone involved in elite level athletics in Edinburgh.
No wonder she is questioning how she can continue to compete at the highest level while she stays in Edinburgh when her vital training routine is so regularly disrupted.
But there has to be sympathy, of course, for Edinburgh Leisure who manage the city’s sports facilities on behalf of the council.
They have to balance the needs of everyone from five-a-side footballers and tai chi enthusiasts to world-class athletes like Lynsey with very specific training needs. And all the while they are having to balance the books as their public funding is cut back.
The problem of course stems from a failure to invest in the Capital’s crumbling sports facilities during what we now know to be the boom years. It is now harder than ever to see where the kind of investment needed is going to come from.
What is the answer? The city has to explore imaginative projects involving National Lottery and private funding to get over this hurdle.
When it comes to the embarrassing state of some of the sports facilities in Scotland’s Capital, there is also an onus on the Scottish Government to lend its support.
Surely one of the legacies of a successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 is to create an environment where Scots athletes can flourish. That won’t happen in Edinburgh without significant investment.
Worth an encore
CHRISTMAS this year for one group of Edinburgh residents will be just an ordinary working day, putting their lives on the line.
The soldiers of the Royal Scots are currently in Afghanistan and will spend the festive season thousands of miles away from their loved ones.
But they will at least have an extra special message from home to provide some cheer in the base. We report today how the Military Wives Choir at Redford has recorded a selection of festive favourites to keep morale up – quite an achievement as the choir did not even exist a few months ago. Well done to them and a safe and merry Christmas to them all.