An Observatory for Sport in Scotland – the proposal- a wee update!


I am doing a wee bit of travelling just now – sailing this week and then two weeks in China observing the ISF World Schools Athletics Cup in Wuhan. So it is timely to give readers a wee update on the proposal.

Having developed the draft proposal with the help of several individuals, I am currently attempting to inform as many individuals and organisations as possible about the Observatory. I am trying to convey the mesage that this small very focussed Observatory would set out to support the efforts of all involved in the worlds of Scottish Sport. It would have no power – save that it will gain knowledge to be shared with all. A number of indexes would be established to assist comparison not only internally within Scotland, but with other northern European countries that already gather such information. Significantly, Sport England established the Active England Survey some 3/4 years ago – which for example, only last week revealed a serious drop off in participation in my own sport of swimming.

I am pleased to report that there is an indication of financial backing coming the way of the Observatory. And also that to date two national non sports organisations have indicating their support for the Observatory. At this stage the names of these backers will remain confidential. But the plan is to stage a national seminar in late September at which two Observatories from northern European countries will share their experiences.

It is pleasing to note that Edinburgh University has announced this week that they intend to establish an Academy of Sport. I would be hoping that there would be real opportunities for cooperation between this Academy and the other Scottish universities to look at ways to improve the Scottish policies and practices of sport, in particular in areas of school and community.

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