Solheim Cup hero Catriona Matthew and World Champion boxer Josh Taylor back our Sporting Chance campaign

Golf legend Catriona Matthew is the latest big name star to back our ‘Sporting Chance’ campaign - revealing the role local sports facilities had in her fledgling career.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 7:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 8:13 pm
Catriona Matthew, Josh Taylor and Stephen Gallacher are the latest big names to come out in support of Sporting Chance.

SIGN THE PETITION: https://www.change.orgREAD MORE:Josh Taylor is the new champion of the worldThe Edinburgh-born golfer, who was raised in North Berwick, led Europe to victory over the United States in the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles last weekend, further enhancing her reputation as a 12-times tour winner.

Matthew said: “Be it golf, athletics, football or boxing, it’s so important to our communities that facilities are there to give everyone the opportunity to play.

“The Evening News campaign should be applauded for bringing these issues to light and giving a voice to those affected by inadequate sport facilities.

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“I wouldn’t be where I am today as a sportsman/woman if it wasn’t for good, local facilities.”

Her call was echoed by IBF Super-lighweight World Champion Josh Taylor and Ryder Cup winning golfer, Stephen Gallacher.

The backing comes after the Evening News highlighted data from “My Local Council Scotland” which revealed Edinburgh Council spent less than half of what Glasgow city spent per visitor on sports and leisure facilities in 2017-18.

Tartan Tornado Taylor said: “Local five-a-side pitches in Prestonpans are closed these days when they are not busy and it’s terrible. When I was growing up, the lights were on and the running track were open every night and it was free to use. If someone booked the pitch, we had to leave, of course, but if it was available, we could use it. It was great, we had something to do, but now it’s far too expensive for kids to use.

“Being able to play for free definitely helped me become the sportsman I am today. There were always things to do, the football pitches, even the tennis courts.

“There was a boxing gym in Tranent that was closed a few years ago and it saddened me to see it go. There should be more boxing gyms in the community to learn discipline, keep off the street and keep out of trouble. It’s a great way to stay healthy and make friends for life.

“I am right behind the Evening News’ campaign to bring more local sport access to the community.”

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“Innovations like my foundation contribute, but, at the end of the day, it comes down to grass-roots support from the relevant authorities.

“It doesn’t matter what sport it is - we need to make sure everyone can stay active, fit and inspired by playing them.”