Get active message lost on Scots as levels flatline over past decade

One of the aims of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was to leave a legacy of increased participation in sport. Picture: TSPL
One of the aims of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was to leave a legacy of increased participation in sport. Picture: TSPL
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Scots have failed to catch the exercise bug over the past decade, despite £500 million of cash being pumped into encouraging physical activity, a report by MSPs has found.

A more active population was among the flagship “legacy” aims of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

We are disappointed that overall participation figures have remained fairly stagnant over the past decade

NEIL FINDLAY

But Holyrood’s health committee said there is “no evidence” of any increase in sports participation, despite a major government drive to get people active.

And spending levels on encouraging sport have been falling in recent years.

Convener Neil Findlay said: “The variety of sports and physical activity on offer in communities is a real testament to the efforts and dedication of sport and community groups. We recognise the hard work that is going on to try and improve and expand participation rates.

“However, we are disappointed that overall participation figures have remained fairly stagnant over the past decade. In fact, we found that many of the issues raised during this inquiry have been raised before.

“The committee believes these findings show how wide-ranging decisions and initiatives across different portfolios taken at both governmental and local level can have wider impacts. We look forward to a response from the Scottish Government to tell us what its plans are to increase participation rates and to hear what lessons have been learned over the past decade”.

With councils footing around £400 million of this, MSPs highlighted evidence of a real terms fall in the local government revenue budget of 6.2 per cent between 2010/11 and 2016/17, with a further 2.2 per cent drop expected between 2016/17 and 2017/18 on a like-for-like basis.

The committee’s report noted that net revenue spending on sport related services has reduced since 2014/15.

Fewer than two-thirds of Scots adults are meeting the The Chief Medical Office physical activity guidelines are for adults of 75 minutes “vigorous intensity exercise” a week, 150 minutes of moderate intensity or a combination of both.