Media Release: Community sport in Scotland – Dying? Dormant? Dynamic?


COMMUNITY Sport in Scotland – an international event taking place in Glasgow this Friday (2 October 2015) – will bring together seventy delegates from across Scotland’s business and sports sectors to explore the policies and practices of three countries – Scotland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The event will debate the future of support for Community Sport and the establishment of an ‘Observatory for Sport in Scotland’ will be discussed.

International experts Henrik Brandt, Director of the Danish Institute for Sports Studies and Prof.Koen Breedveld of the Mulier Institute, Centre for Sports in Society in the Netherlands will both share their insights and learnings and a panel debate, chaired by the chief executive of Lloyds TSB Foundation.

Fiona Duncan will open discussion on the positive influence which an effective and engaged team of sports professionals, volunteers and supporters can have on Scotland’s economy both through business and in the community.

Says a spokesperson: “The creation of an ‘Observatory for Sport in Scotland’ as an independent organisation would act as a research platform, showcasing how sport can be a force for improvement in all aspects of life.

“Observatories for Sport are already established institutions in several European countries and exist across different sporting disciplines – gathering, analysing and publishing data on the state and development of sport within their regions and translating social and educational values into policy and action.”

Stuart Younie, board member of the Scottish Sports Association (the body that represents and supports Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport) and service manager for Sport & Active Recreation with Perth & Kinross Council, along with sports research consultant, Neil Ross, will examine the current Scottish landscape and look at the challenges faced in delivering community sport across the country.

Scotland celebrated a fantastic year of sport in 2014, hosting the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, which helped to raise both profile and enthusiasm for sport across the country.

Adds the spokesperson: “A participative and active society – not only at elite level, but across all age-groups and disciplines – has a positive influence on a country’s social and economic welfare.

“Responsibility for the future of sport in our communities shouldn’t only sit with the many volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to run sports clubs, but should instead involve every one of us in positively supporting and influencing our country’s social and economic welfare.”

Ambassador for The Observatory for Sport in Scotland, Charlie Raeburn, said: “My experiences through school sport and community coaching is that there is great enthusiasm for community sport, but that so many people in clubs, local authorities and in schools, though very concerned about the current direction of travel of community sport, are more often than not unable to express their views or access the support they need to drive action forward.

“My aspiration is to encourage a platform for discussion and help position community sport within civic society, promoting engagement and developing a sense of belonging.

“The establishment of an Observatory for Sport in Scotland would encourage all parties to take an interest in the development of community sport through the availability of independent research and promote dialogue amongst community sport practitioners to support everyone involved to better understand the fragility and complexities of community sport.”

The event is partnered by ALERCE Trust and QTS Group, supported by SCVO, Reform Scotland and SCDI (Scottish Council for Development and Industry).


Notes to editors:

For further information regarding ‘The Observatory for Sport in Scotland’ concept and business case, please contact:

Charlie Raeburn – Ambassador, The Observatory for Sport in Scotland

Tel: 07876 790228



The Community Sport in Scotland business event on Friday 2 October 2015 in The Corinthian Club, Glasgow is partnered by the ALERCE Trust and QTS Group; and supported by SCVO, Reform Scotland and SCDI (Scottish Council for Development and Industry).

(Delegate places must be pre-registered via

Speakers at the event include:

*    Fiona Duncan – chief Eexecutive, Lloyds TSB Foundation

*    Prof. Koen Breedveld – Mulier Institute, The Netherlands

*   Henrik Brandt – Danish Institute for Sports Studies

*       Stuart Younie – Sport & Active Recreation, Perth & Kinross Council; and board member, Scottish Sports Association

*    Gregg McEwan – QTS Group

*    Paul Di Giacomo – Kilmarnock Football Club

*     Neil Ross – Integratis Consulting

*    Ross Martin – chief executive, SCDI

*    Charlie Raeburn – Ambassador, The Observatory for Sport in Scotland

*      Claire Phillips – consultant, The Observatory for Sport in Scotland

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Contact: Charlie Raeburn – Ambassador, The Observatory for Sport in Scotland
Phone: 07876790228