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The role of sport and physical activity in Scotland
A one-day conference focussing on the purpose and direction of
sport and physical activity in Scotland

The challenges facing community sport and physical activity in Scotland…

The role of sport and physical activity is changing across the world as well as in the UK and Scotland. At the same time, with changing lifestyles and demographics, broader remits from the Scottish Government, opportunities for collaboration with non-sport partners such as health, housing and education and a number of new providers coming into the sector the status quo is no longer an option for anybody with the sector.

Scottish society needs community sports clubs, hubs and other providers to prosper. We need them to be places where people will want to play and exercise and become involved. They should generally become hubs for their communities, in short, become places ‘where people live their lives’.

This event focuses on these issues, highlight best practice and provide thoughts, tools and to-dos on how you too can become a sustainable community sports provider.

Great morning line up

TBC, sportscotland

Presenting sportscotland’s new strategy

sportscotland will update the conference on their new corporate strategy. SPORT FOR LIFE celebrates how everyone in Scotland can benefit from sport. It’s a strong message that builds on our existing corporate plan and reflects the feedback from last summer’s consultation with partners. As the national agency for sport our role is to make sure that sport plays its part in a thriving Scotland. We do this by influencing, informing and investing in the organisations and people who deliver sport and physical activity. We believe in a world class sporting system that makes the best use of Scotland assets and adapts to change, helping the people of Scotland take part in sport at the level they choose. At the conference sportscotland will present this new strategy and how they will work with partners to help the people of Scotland get the most out of our sporting system.

How sports bodies and clubs will have to change

The world of sport is no different from the world of technology or commerce where the rate of change is increasing all the time. Governing bodies and clubs must not only have the appetite for change, but must also implement these changes and adaptations or they will struggle to exist. The competition for young people’s time and money has never been greater, and sport is under increasing pressure not only from other past-times such as social media, TV and E-games but more importantly, from inactivity!
The social aspect needs to get greater emphasis and innovative thought needs to be applied to sports in order to develop simpler entry-points, a faster endorphin hit, greater engagement and to drive the mental health, leadership, teamwork and communication qualities that derive from playing any sport. While budgets are frequently threatened, these changes also have to be delivered with a weather-eye on ROI! All sounds so simple!

Malcolm Cannon, CEO, Cricket Scotland

Malcolm Cannon is an experienced chief executive who has led businesses in the retail and property sectors. His earlier career was in the whisky and pharmaceutical industries. He holds Non-Executive Director roles on 3 companies and is a trustee of the cricket charity, Beyond Boundaries. Educated at St Andrews University, he is a self-confessed “sports nut” who has also woven amateur singing and dancing into his life in recent years.



Is deep-dive research the missing link to more active Scottish communities?

Research is everywhere; ‘evidence’ is in front of your eyes. That may be the case for those closely involved in sport and physical activity but what about those who are not? How do people with ‘adverse sporting experiences’ in childhood come back to sport? How do people in communities where poverty is a huge barrier to physical activity develop an appreciation of the mental health, social inclusion and resilience benefits sport can bring? How do government officials and ministers who have little experience of or involvement with sport shape policy that engages people and genuinely improves Scotland’s health?
One answer is through high-quality, academic research. The Observatory for Sport in Scotland was launched in 2016 to bring the research-led analysis and advocacy prevalent in sporting countries across the world to Scotland, and help government, sports bodies, education and health to better identify and grasp the wide-ranging and long-term benefits sport can bring to all ages and all communities.

David Ferguson, Executive Director, The Observatory for Sport in Scotland

David Ferguson took over as the Executive Director for the OSS in January, 2019, after a 30-year career in journalism and communication/public affairs, and is an active community sport coach.



Transformational change and what we are doing,

Aberdeenshire Council launched a new business unit in January 2019 to be more dynamic in its strategic leadership and direction of Culture & Sports Services. By reviewing all areas of work we are seeking to transform services through change, innovation and improvement. We are challenged to think differently and find new ways of collaborative working with clubs and partners which will be more sustainable for the future.

Our strategic priorities are on Health and Wellbeing; Diversity and Equality; Stronger Communities and Opportunity and Achievement. So how do we do this better in a large rural community with 9 Community Sports Hubs, improve collaboration with governing bodies with a shared interest and develop lasting increases in participation. What do our communities want and how can we deliver on this?

Andrew Miller, Active Communities Manager, Aberdeenshire Council

Andrew Miller has been a sports development professional for 31 years in Aberdeenshire, in multiple roles including partnerships, special projects, event management, sponsorship specialist, DofE Manager, a former UK Quest Assessor, Sports Council Secretary and SALSC National Panel Member. He is a BASI Nordic Instructor and involved with British Nordic Development Squad Committee.

Fraser Govan, Active Communities Officer Aberdeenshire Council  

Fraser Govan has been involved in both specific and generic sports development for 31 years starting in England before moving to Angus and then Aberdeenshire. A former UK Quest Assessor and author of the Aberdeenshire clubCAP accreditation scheme, Fraser’s lead role in Aberdeenshire is partnership working with third sector agencies and governing bodies, Community Sports Hubs & club development, specific sports and targeted diversionary work. He is a senior UKCC tutor and national squad coach for basketballscotland.