Community-based sport and physical activity projects in Scotland are in line for a share of a £1million cash investment thanks to a new programme aimed at changing lives and creating a more inclusive and healthier nation.
The Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity (CLTSPA) fund is a partnership between the Scottish Government, sportscotland, the Robertson Trust and Spirit of 2012, and will support organisations to deliver positive change in communities across the country.
Speaking at the launch in Edinburgh, where she met representatives from Inchpark Community Sports Club, Sports Minister Aileen Campbell MSP explained how she hopes communities will benefit.
“This programme will provide vital support and funding and is a great example of organisations working in partnership," said Ms Campbell.
"The barriers to taking part in sport and physical activity are complex and varied, and through programmes like this we can help people overcome these issues and enjoy the clear benefits that sport and physical activity bring.
"We know that being active not only helps people with their own health and wellbeing, but also develops skills and brings communities together.
"I am keen, through this programme, to see both sporting and non-sporting organisations use sport and physical activity to get more people taking part.”
The fund is part of a wider £1.8m programme that will help to address individual and community needs through sport and physical activity and support people to become and stay active.
Two-year grants ranging from £30,000 to £70,000 will be available to partnerships meeting key criteria and delivering on four themes:
- Sport for Inclusion
- Sport for Health and Wellbeing
- Sport for Skills
- Sport for Communities
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, knows that the sporting system has a huge role to play in changing the lives of communities throughout Scotland and believes the new fund can have a real impact.
“The positive power of sport and physical activity can be seen every day in communities across the country thanks to the fantastic work of community sport hubs, clubs and the wider sporting system," said Stewart.
"It is clear from this work that sport and physical activity is having a significant impact on the lives of those taking part. But it is not just about participation, it is also about improving health and wellbeing and increasing wider opportunities, and we are determined to build on that.
"This fund and the wider Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity programme is an important step on that journey, as we strive to build a more inclusive and healthier nation.”
The wider programme has a specific aim of increasing capacity and skills within the sporting sector to meet the needs of the community and to deliver positive change for participants and that is an area that Kenneth Ferguson, director of the Robertson Trust, is keen to focus on.
“The Robertson Trust has a long history of championing and funding sports and physical activity where it delivers wider outcomes for individuals and communities," said Kenneth. "Our learning from this work is that positive change is most likely to happen when organisations understand their communities, have a focus on the change they want to deliver and have the right mix of internal skills and capacity to make it happen.
"We are delighted to be able to invest up to £500,000 into this programme and to be working in partnership with sportscotland, Scottish Government and Spirit of 2012 to develop it. We believe it offers a real opportunity to strengthen our existing system for sport in Scotland and to support more sporting organisations to make a difference within their communities.”
The fund will be managed by Spirit of 2012, whose chief executive, Debbie Lye, is convinced that this significant investment can deliver a legacy for the nation.
“Spirit of 2012’s mission as a funder is to leave a legacy of healthier and happier individuals and communities – we know that getting people active is a route to this outcome," said Debbie. "That’s why we’re very proud to join the partnership of the Scottish Government, sportscotland and the Robertson Trust and to be entrusted with managing this fund which will change lives across Scotland.
"We’re delighted to be partners in such a positive movement for change.”
The fund launch comes after a Sport For Change report in 2017 which demonstrated that being active brings about positive changes beyond participation and can impact positively on the health and wellbeing of individuals, on their skills and learning, and on communities, ensuring a more inclusive and healthier nation.
Find out more
Read more background at the sportscotland website.
The CLTSPA Fund is delivered by Spirit of 2012 as part of the Changing Lives through Sport and Physical Activity programme. Further information on the Fund and details how to apply can be found at the Spirit of 2012 website.