THE Scottish Institute of Sport Foundation today published its Manifesto for Sporting Excellence and Winning Scots for the 2007 Scottish elections, calling for a dedicated minister for sport and reintroduction of competitive sport in schools.
The manifesto outlines five priorities to help build a culture of winning and drive sporting excellence in Scotland:
* school sport: at least one afternoon a week of competitive sport for every child from primary 5 within the timetabled day
* leadership: a dedicated minister for sport at Holyrood (separated from tourism and culture or linked with the more relevant education and health portfolios)
* sport and education: developing six (secondary level) schools of sporting excellence to align with the existing Area Institutes of Sport to discover and nurture fresh talent and achieve international excellence in performance and world-class standards of sport science services
* coaching: investment in establishing coaching as a profession, improving the quality of coaching at every level of the player pathway
* facilities: bringing them up to date with suitable maintenance. Investment must be committed to maximise the immediate use of existing school facilities throughout the day, seven days a week
These policies were partly informed by a groundbreaking study commissioned by The Foundation last autumn entitled ‘How to achieve a sporting culture of excellence in Scotland’. The University of Stirling study highlighted that Scotland’s international sporting success is being held back due to the lack of clear leadership, a proper coaching infrastructure and an intense competitive environment (especially in schools).
Graham Watson, executive director of The Foundation, said: “Creating a sporting culture of excellence in Scotland means focusing on the education of young people and motivating them to fulfil their potential and become winners in every aspect of their lives.
“We need to reinvigorate school sport to ensure that all pupils are getting a minimum of one afternoon a week of sport within the timetable. This will increase positive thinking, confidence and self belief and lead to the development of a ‘winning mentality’.
“To lead these policies, sport should be given higher priority at ministerial level and we believe the time is right for a dedicated Scottish minister for sport.”
Notes to editors
The Scottish Institute of Sport Foundation has charitable status and was formed in 2005 by Sir Bill Gammell, inspired by the Scottish Institute of Sport’s successful winning-focused elite athlete strategy.
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