Susan Dalgety: Edinburgh should value sport as highly as its festivals
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a sporty person. Running for a bus is the only competitive sport I have ever indulged in, and the number 44 always wins.
Even at school, many, many years ago, I tried to dodge sport as much as possible, preferring to nurture my burgeoning smoking habit instead of taking part in PE classes.
But I am very disappointed that the city council has withdrawn its funding for the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country run. After 14 successful years, last Saturday’s race round Holyrood Park was the last.
Those councillors who are trying to balance the city’s books in face of swingeing government cuts have my sympathy.
Every budget cut they threaten will face opposition, as it is truly impossible to please all the people, all of the time.
Just as it is impossible to make £21 million savings without reducing services or cutting jobs.
It seems our capital’s councillors spend less on sport than any other council in Scotland, which surely cannot be good for the city, or its citizens.
But the council, rightly, spends millions on Edinburgh’s arts festivals, and we all get a terrific return on that investment.
Sport is just as important to our well-being as culture, so surely deserves the same level of support, or at the very least, £100,000 to stage next year’s Great Edinburgh run.