Views sought on removing barriers to participation in grassroots sport

20.05.2017

A Holyrood Committee is seeking views on the removal of barriers to participation in grassroots sport.

The next phase of the Health and Sport Committee’sSport for Everyone’ inquiry will examine community-based approaches to removing barriers to participation in sport and physical activity, including how to better promote volunteering.

The Committee is asking people to provide examples of where a community based approach has been successful in removing barriers, particularly among certain social groups.

MSPs also hope to address the reasons behind on-going difficulties in communities accessing the school estate for sport and physical activity.

Members of the public are being invited to provide their views on questions, including:

  • Can you provide examples where a community based approach has been successful in removing barriers to participation in sport and physical activity?
  • Were there any approaches that were particularly successful in increasing participation among certain social groups, like women, ethnic minorities, certain age-groups?
  • What are the barriers facing volunteers and how can they be overcome?
  • To what extent is the school estate currently being used effectively to increase opportunities for sport and physical activity participation?
  • Is the infrastructure built for the Commonwealth Games being used effectively to increase opportunities for sport and physical activity and participation?

Neil Findlay MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:

"Increasing participation in sport and physical activity was a key aim of the Commonwealth Games and the new infrastructure that was built around the games. We know some of the barriers to people getting involved, such as time, cost and difficulties in accessing facilities, but we want to know what work is being done in communities to try and break those barriers down.

“There was a huge interest in volunteering around the Games, but that level of interest hasn’t been sustained. We need to know what the barriers are to people taking up volunteering opportunities because volunteers are central to the success of community sport.”

The call for evidence closes on 30 June. It is available here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/104946.aspx

Background

The Committee’s interim report, published earlier this month, found that there is still work to be done in encouraging more people to take part in grassroots sport, over two years after Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games.

The interim report included survey findings which revealed that females were almost twice as likely as males to not take part in regular sport or physical activity.

The biggest barrier to participation was noted as being perceived lack of time. Other barriers for both male and females include:

  • caring/family commitments
  • feeling self-conscious
  • shortage of suitable facilities nearby
  • too expensive
  • do/did not enjoy PE at school

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