Orienteering at the Scottish Parliament
In the debate held on Tuesday 10th December in the Scottish Parliament on the Scottish Government’s Youth Sport Strategy, “Giving children and young people a sporting chance: a draft Strategy for Scotland”, it was pleasing to see orienteering singled out as a sport with potential for development in Scotland.
Below are relevant extracts from Margo MacDonald’s speech. Margo is Chair of the Scottish Government’s Cross-Party Group on Sport and, therefore, particularly well-informed in this area.
Orienteering’s message does not get through to this level without SOA members taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them to promote our sport. This happens in schools, our clubs, local communities, around our major events, in meetings, via media and through our performance squads. It’s a small but important step in the right direction and I am grateful for everyone’s efforts in this regard.
We have not yet identified a strategic way to develop sports that suit Scotland. The figures show that fewer young people are taking part in sport of their own volition, and that cannot all be explained by the PC-in-the-bedroom generation .... .
We still try to be world beaters at sports that we can never be world beaters at …. Why do we not concentrate on winter sports? We are world beaters at them. Why do we not choose sailing? Why not boxing? We are good at that, so we should sort out how we feel about it. Why do we not choose orienteering? We are made for sports like that, but we have not thought too much about it. We might get more people involved in those sports, but we have not tried ….. .
I want the minister to look again at PE in schools. She has done a great deal on that [but] …. why is it an also-ran or tack-on subject in educating our children?
Margo MacDonald (Lothian) (Ind):
The full transcript of the debate (rather long).