Boost in gym use after 2014 Commonwealth Games

Usain Bolt at the 2014 Games.
Usain Bolt at the 2014 Games.
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The number of people visiting council-owned fitness facilities has increased by just over a third since the 2014 Commonwealth Games, according to data gathered by the SNP.

The party has collated membership figures for the past decade from 22 out of 32 of Scotland’s local authorities.

The majority of councils have experienced significant increases in membership or attendances during the ten-year period, with the SNP focusing on rises since 2014, when Glasgow hosted the Games.

The data, collected through Freedom of Information requests, shows an overall 
36 per cent increase in the last three years.

Glasgow has recorded a 13.7 per cent rise in memberships since 2014, while in Edinburgh the figure is up 10.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen has seen a 90.5 per cent increase since 2014, Orkney is up 137 per cent, and Dumfries and Galloway and West Dunbartonshire both recorded rises of around 70 per cent.

SNP MSP Ivan McKee said: “It is fantastic that not only has Glasgow Life seen a 157 per cent increase in its membership since the SNP came to office and a 14 per cent increase since we hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but that this positive pattern of growth has been repeated across the country.

“The overwhelming increase in gym-goers across Scotland over the last decade is testament to the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing at a school, community and national level in order to create a Scotland where people are more active more often.

“Our Daily Mile challenge is in its sixth year now and encourages children across Scotland to pick up healthy habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.

“And as a keen runner and a firm believer in the cognitive and health benefits of exercising more regularly, I am delighted that the number of gym-goers is ever increasing under this SNP Government.”

In November, Holyrood’s health and sport committee said it has seen “no current evidence of an active legacy from the 2014 Games” after a parliamentary report found the number of Scots taking part in sport or recreational activity has stagnated – despite a £500 million a year push to encourage people to be more active.

The committee called on the government to set out the impact of pressures on local government budgets on sporting participation rates, “given the prominent role of local government in delivering sports services, and the increased charges at a local level to participate”. It called for ministers to explain whether it believes an “active legacy” can still be achieved.