The barriers to participation and the availability of sports facilities are just some of the issues to be explored as members of the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee visited Aviemore and Kingussie today.
Three members of the Committee, Donald Cameron MSP, Maree Todd MSP and Miles Briggs MSP visited Aviemore Community Sport Hub which is based at the new Aviemore Primary School and Community Centre. The Hub project works with clubs and organisations based within Badenoch and Strathspey to help develop sports in the local area.
They then travelled to Kingussie where they heard more about the ‘active schools’ programme in the Badenoch Centre, which aims to provide more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before, during and after school. Following that they visited Kingussie High School to learn more about the community sports hub links to the school.
The purpose of their visit was to inform the Committee’s inquiry, Sport for Everyone. The inquiry will follow up on the impact of the 2014 Commonwealth Games to determine the extent it has increased access to and participation in sport in the medium to long term. The Committee wants to explore what more can be done to remove barriers to participation so that people in Scotland can live active, healthy lifestyles.
Other members of the Committee undertook similar visits in Glasgow. Speaking after the visits, Neil Findlay MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:
“The reason why the Committee wanted to visit Aviemore and Kingussie was to learn more about community sport hubs and the active school programme and to understand what facilities, sports and clubs are available.
“Speaking to people on the ground about some of the fantastic work that is going on in the Badenoch and Strathspey area is invaluable to this Committee’s inquiry.
“The MSPs that were on this visit will report back on what they found at the next meeting of the Committee at the Scottish Parliament.”
The Committee recently conducted a survey, which was completed by over 3,000 people across Scotland, which asked what the reasons were why people did not participate in sport. An analysis of the reasons can be found at this link. Amongst some of the reasons given was a lack of time, money or access to facilities.