Over 70 representatives from sports clubs and bodies throughout the Scottish Borders gathered at a special summit on November 25th to pledge their support for the community sports hubs initiative.
Once established, these hubs will help to unite everyone involved in club sport – from volunteers to professionals – under the overarching principle of creating a world-class club sport structure across the country.
Organised by Borders Sport & Leisure, in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and sportscotland, the Summit outlined plans for the creation of nine community sport hubs in the Scottish Borders.
The hubs will support the Government’s 2014 legacy plan and aim to provide a focal point to bring local sports clubs and people together to share resources and expertise and make it easier for more people to become involved in sport.
Key speakers at the event included former rugby coach Jim Telfer and Stewart Harris, the Chief Executive of sportscotland.
Mr Harris informed the delegates that an extra £6million in sports funding from the National Lottery was being made available due to the success of the Olympic Games and that through creating community sport hubs the Borders could enhance its access to funding opportunities.
Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions coach Jim Telfer highlighted how his experience in bringing together a successful Lions squad of rival nations in 1997, compared to the challenge facing local sports in creating vibrant, successful hubs.
"You will have to be able to come together and see the bigger picture for each area as well as for the Borders," he said, "and lead this project to allow this generation and future generations to benefit."
The summit was accompanied by a series of workshops inviting input from the local sports clubs on how best to approach the creation of a network of community sport hubs in the region. The exact format of each hub will be decided by the clubs and individuals in each area and could vary from physical venues such as a secondary school or sports club where members meet to virtual hubs that communicate through email and social media.
Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of Borders Sport & Leisure, said: “We are really fortunate to have so many enthusiastic and committed people driving forward the sports clubs in the Scottish Borders. We used the Summit as a way to gain their feedback on how best to approach creating a network of community sport hubs in the Borders, so we can maximise the hubs’ potential to assist them with strengthening and growing their clubs to bring even more people into sport.”
Stewart Harris concluded: “I was delighted to be part of the Borders Community Sport Summit on Sunday, where it was great to see so many interested parties joining together to discuss the future of sport in the Borders.
“Creating community sport hubs is sportscotland’s lead programme under the objective of delivering sustainable community-based sport, and I was encouraged to see our partners, Borders Sport and Leisure and Scottish Borders Council, engaging with the community before launching their hubs.
“Once established, these hubs will help to unite everyone involved in club sport – from volunteers to professionals – under the overarching principle of creating a world-class club sport structure across the country.”
Anyone interested in details on joining their new local Community Sports Hub should contact Mark Drummond, Community Sport Hub Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.