Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick has welcomed the start of Clubs Open Doors Week after visiting Forthill Community Sports Club in Dundee.
Clubs across the country are celebrating Clubs Open Doors Week (23-30 September) as part of European Week of Sport. Across Scotland more than 250 clubs are giving local communities the chance to try a new sport or activity in their area for free.
The week comes as community sport hubs continue to thrive. First launched in 2011, the CSH programme brings together sport clubs and key local partners who want to develop and grow sport in the community.
The National Lottery-funded programme was a key commitment from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and earlier this year the number of hubs reached a record high of 192.
As part of the 192 hubs currently in operation there are 158,488 playing members in 1,303 clubs. Those numbers have risen significantly over the past five years as sportscotland and the wider sporting network in Scotland continue to create meaningful participation opportunities for people across the country.
Publication of the latest data by sportscotland was welcomed by Minister for Sport Joe FitzPatrick during his visit to Forthill Community Sports Club.
Forthill Community Sports Club has been part of the CSH network since March 2017 and comprises six local clubs catering for people of all ages. The hub is developing strong connections with local schools to create both participation and leadership opportunities for local young people. It serves Broughty Ferry and the east end of Dundee with facilities including cricket and rugby pitches, tennis courts, squash courts, table tennis facilities and a function suite.
Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: "I’m delighted to be in Dundee at the start of sportscotland’s Club Open Doors Week. Over the past five years we have invested in growing Community Sports Hubs across Scotland and this is reflected in the 192 we now have.
"These facilities and the hard-working staff and volunteers at them play an important role in the lives of communities throughout the country.
"As Sport Minister I have seen first-hand numerous examples of the great work at hubs that are providing more and better opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in sport and physical activity.
"Support for community sport hubs is key to our vision for a more active Scotland, supporting our aim to reduce physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 15% by 2030."
Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, believes the impact of the CSH programme will be felt for years to come thanks to the hard work of people in communities, many of them volunteers.
He said: "Sport has the power to change lives and we are seeing that day in and day out in local communities thanks to programmes such as community sport hubs.
"We want to deliver a system for sport in Scotland that is world class and that provides opportunities for everyone to take part in sport and achieve their goals, whatever level that represents. That is why the work of hubs is so important.
"Across the country hubs are providing more and better opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in sport. We have made great strides in this area and will continue to work with our partners in the months and years ahead to ensure that we help build a Scotland, where sport is a way of life."