The barriers to participation and the availability of sports facilities across the country were just some of the issues explored as members of the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee visited facilities in Edinburgh.
The purpose of their visits was to help inform their 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 visited Spartans Community Football Academy in Pilton to learn more about the organisation and the impact that they have on the local community in North Edinburgh. MSPs heard that Spartans were about much more than football and about their work in delivering innovative programmes in youth work and education. They also got to see street football in action where over 100 young people enjoy free supervised access to Spartans community football pitch every week.
The Committee also visited Muirhouse Millennium Centre to hear from local organisations and community groups about why they don’t participate in sport.
Speaking after the visit, Neil Findlay MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:
“Our inquiry is all about trying to find out what more can be done to get people in Scotland to participate in sport and lead active and healthy lives.
“We’ve already heard from people across Scotland that some of the reasons for not participating in sport were time, money and a lack of facilities. Speaking to people in the local community in Edinburgh found similar issues.
“It was also good to see young people so enthusiastic about taking part in sport and learning more about the role of Spartans. Hearing from people who are taking part in sport and from those on the ground who are helping to deliver sporting facilities is invaluable to our inquiry”.
Members of the Committee carried out similar visits to Glasgow and Aviemore yesterday (27 February).
The survey that the Committee conducted, which was completed by over 3,000 people across Scotland, asked what reasons were that people did not take part in sport.