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Schools hold the key to sport

SCHOOL halls, pitches and pools have to be available to the community if improved sports targets are to be met over the next four years, the chairman of Sportscotland told MSPs on the education, culture and sport committee.

"People have been talking about this for a long time but I see very few examples of it working," Alastair Dempster cautioned. Facilities had to be accessible, especially if more people from disadvantaged communities are to be encouraged to take up regular activity.

However, he appealed for a more active structure of clubs as schools could not deliver all sports for young people. Clubs had to be involved in coaching and would in turn gain long-term membership.

Mr Dempster said there was a lot of enthusiasm for sport but it tailed off rapidly among 12-13s and particularly among girls who wanted their own facilities. Two hours of physical education a week was a high priority in the revised targets.

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