‘There will be something 
for everyone’

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What a magnificent result for Edinburgh. The decision to develop the National Performance Centre for Sport at Riccarton really is fantastic for the city.

Sports fans across the country will be excited about what the centre, with its focus on producing the stars of the future, can do for our national sports teams.

The Edinburgh bid, with its exciting mix of top-class sporting facilities and world-leading science and medicine, always looked like a winning combination. It’s wonderful that we will now get a chance to see what it can deliver.

There will be something for 
everyone at the £30 million sports village that will now be built at Heriot-Watt University’s campus.

Football fans will be excited by what might happen on the replica Hampden pitch, while rugby and tennis enthusiasts will be ecstatic at the thought of aspiring Gavin Hastings and Andy Murrays being put through their paces in the new centre of excellence.

The huge indoor arena will have space for other sports, such as 
basketball, and be a hive of activity throughout the foulest of Scottish winters.

Heck, even if you’re not a sports fan, you might still get a buzz 
from the architects’ futuristic plans.

An arena modelled on the curve of a ball hit by Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos has got to be worth getting excited about.

The national centre is, of course designed to support the development of elite athletes.

Similar centres have been credited with fuelling years of international success for other nations. We can only hope it provides the same catalyst here.

However, there are also likely to be spin-off benefits for the wider community.

Local businesses, from Edinburgh Airport to the food and drink companies that will supply the thousands of athletes passing through its gates, will all see 
an increase in demand for their services.

Having such a facility on our doorstep should be a huge boost to thousands of youngsters from across the Lothians, whether or not they have the ability to represent their country.

It has to be hoped that many of them will get a chance to visit the centre, perhaps for a taster session with one of the country’s top coaches, to meet some of the nation’s sporting stars, or to watch one of the international tournaments it will host.

If a visit helps to inspire a love of sport, then it would be worthwhile.

We’re definitely on to a winner here.