After Scotland’s athletes returned from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with a record number of medals, there is further cause for celebration on home soil with the news that sportscotland continues to deliver on one of its key legacy commitments from Glasgow 2014.
New figures published by sportscotland, the national agency for sport, show there are now 192 community sport hubs in operation throughout Scotland. The number of hubs has continued to grow since 2014 with more than 60 established in the past four years.
Community Sport Hubs is a National Lottery-funded programme that brings together sport clubs and key local partners who want to develop and grow sport in the community. As part of the 192 hubs in operation there are now more than 150,000 playing members in around 1,200 clubs. Links between the existing hubs, clubs and schools are also growing as the project continues to help build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland.
Every hub in the network works to the same principles: to grow participation, engage the local community, promote community leadership, offer a range of sporting opportunities and bring key groups together. This has led to the number of hub members almost doubling in the past four years and sportscotland chief executive, Stewart Harris, believes the impact will be felt for years to come.
He said: “We want to deliver a system for sport in Scotland that is world class and that provides opportunities for everyone to achieve their goals, whatever level that represents. Communities and schools have a huge role to play within that system which is why community sport hubs are at the very heart of our work.
“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.”
One of the hubs which has contributed to the growth in numbers is Clyde Valley Campus Community Sport Hub. It is located on the joint campus of Clyde Valley High and Orchard Primary on the outskirts of Wishaw and, having opened in October, the hub already has seven schools and four sports clubs associated with it.
The group plans to grow the numbers attending the hub and increase physical activity levels among local adults and children, while promoting sporting opportunities in the surrounding area. A Commonwealth Games-themed camp was held for young people who were able to try out many of the sports that featured in the 2018 Games.
Ian Russell, senior sports development officer at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “It’s all about creating a more joined-up approach to increasing participation in sport and physical activity.
“We’ll be developing this sport hub to be an asset to the local community. With the running of it having now been taken over by a constituted group, this will hopefully ensure the sustainability of the hub with decisions on activities needed being representative of the needs of the local community.”
News of the growth in Community Sport Hubs comes as it was confirmed a record number of young people are participating in organised sport and physical activity sessions in Scottish schools.
During the 2016-17 academic year more than 6.8million visits were made to sportscotland Active Schools sessions across all 32 Scottish local authorities – representing an increase of 4.5 per cent from 2015-16. Over the same period the number of sessions has increased by 5 per cent to just over 368,000 in 2016-17.
The Active Schools programme is delivered in partnership between sportscotland and Scottish local authorities. The national programme has a specific aim of improving sport and physical activity opportunities for children and young people in schools across the country, connecting young people to sport opportunities in their communities and supporting physical education.
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