Scottish independence: no barrier to Olympic team

Henry McLeish said Olympians would need additional support. Picture: Getty

Henry McLeish said Olympians would need additional support. Picture: Getty


There are no “obvious barriers” that would stop a Scottish team competing in the Olympic Games, a report has claimed.

A study led by former first minister Henry McLeish and looking at “the continuing development of Scottish Sport – including the impact of independence”, set out how Scotland could become an Olympic nation in its own right in the event of the country breaking away from the UK.

“We found no obvious barriers to Team Scotland participating in the Olympics and Para-Olympics, as soon as Rio, if this meets the IOC [International Olympic Committee] timetable,” Mr McLeish said.

“There would be a need for Scottish bodies to step up to fully support Olympic and Para-Olympic teams, but they would require additional support and funding to ensure a smooth transition for athletes able to compete for Scotland.”

On the wider issue of boosting Scottish sport, the report said further support had to be given to athletes and that people should be encouraged to be active “from cradle to grave”.

It said the Scottish Government needed to regard future spending on sport as a “cost-saving exercise” for health and other budgets and warned that effort was required to ensure that all groups – especially those in the most deprived areas – benefited from new and existing assets.




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