MSPs to study barriers to participation in sport – BBC News

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MSPs want to evaulate how the 2014 Commonwealth Games influenced participation in sport

Holyrood’s health and sport committee has launched an inquiry into barriers to accessing sport in Scotland.

MSPs are to examine what long-term impact the 2014 Commonwealth Games has had in increasing participation and access to sport.

Committee convener Neil Findlay said members wanted to find out why “a large proportion of the population” does not take part in more physical activity.

The committee has also set up an online survey to gather views from the public.

They will hold a round-table session in February to take evidence from people involved in the provision of sports facilities, clubs and activities, as well as a series of fact-finding visits.

Mr Findlay said: “What we want to determine almost three years after the Commonwealth Games were held in Scotland is the impact on the number of people taking part in sport. Most importantly, has it led to an increase in participation, and what more can be done to improve Scotland’s relationship with sport?

“January is always a time when thoughts turn to New Year’s resolutions and getting fitter after the indulgence of the Christmas period. We thought this was an opportune time to ask people in Scotland why they don’t or can’t take part in sport and the barriers they face whether it be access, money or other reasons?

“Our committee wants to understand what motivates people to take part in sport but more importantly why a large proportion of our population doesn’t undertake as much physical activity as they could.”

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Neil Findlay put questions about participation in sport directly to the first minister

During the most recent session of questions to the first minister, Mr Findlay pressed Nicola Sturgeon on how “cutting the sport budget as proposed in the draft budget will encourage more people in working class communities to engage in sport”.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “We support sport in many ways, such as our investment in facilities, through school sport and through major events. The issue is about the different ways in which we support people who take part in activity.

“One thing that we have to do is to get young people into the habit of activity and sport at a much earlier age. That is why the daily mile, which I mentioned earlier and which is such a simple thing, is potentially transformational.

“Not that long ago, I was at a school in Edinburgh where it was not the primary school kids but the nursery school kids who were doing the daily mile. All those things taken together are vital and, frankly, whatever our political disagreements, all of us in the chamber should be able to get behind that.”

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