A report on talent identification (page four) highlights the importance of core physical education in primaries as the key to securing basic motor skills that are visibly absent in today's professional footballers. Twenty years ago, Scotland playing Norway or Denmark was considered an easy game. Now we struggle with even the minor Nordic nations.
These highly organised countries have invested in structures that shame a similar-sized country like Scotland. Alternative strategies are needed to replace our traditional reliance on voluntary enthusiasm and good fortune. What role does education have? Ministers are backing a health-driven agenda in the era of the fast food, no activity generation and want whole-school policies to tackle this. Czars for health and fitness are in place and have highlighted the significance of preventative strategies in primary school. It is not the job of schools to produce top athletes: it is their job to educate physically to the highest standards, which they do not. That is the conclusion of the physical activity task force currently setting out its ambitious aims to transform the nation.
This is long overdue. The nation cares about its sport and the base begins with young people. Whether that is in or out of school is another debate, but core basic skills are very much within the remit.