The accessibility of sport

FOLLOWING Team GB’s record Olympic medal haul, former Olympic medallist Liz McColgan will join some of Scotland’s leading sports personalities and commentators to debate the accessibility of sport in Scotland.

They will ask if all groups in society are given equal opportunity to participate.

The session is part of the eighth annual Festival of Politics and takes place today (Friday) from 1.30 to 2.30 p.m. in the Scottish Parliament. Liz will be joined by BBC presenter and former rugby player John Beattie, sports journalist Alison Walker and Kim Atkinson, policy director of the Scottish Sports Association. The session will be chaired by Mid Scotland and Fife MSP John Park.

He said: “The topic that this session will debate has never been more relevant.

“With the performance of Team GB athletes exceeding expectations and as Scotland looks ahead to the Commonwealth Games in 2014, this is a unique opportunity to debate with some of the country’s most respected sports personalities and commentators.”

Carnoustie based Liz commented: “After the success of the 2012 Olympic games the focus will now turn to Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“The legacy of games like this is to get more people involved in sport. We will have lots of kids turning up at a variety of local sport clubs after being inspired by what they watched at the Olympics and we need to be able to accommodate them with enough coaches, facilities, and competition.

“I am looking forward to the festival of politics to see the debate on how we plan to do this.”

In the current economic climate, are young people able to reap the benefits that sport can offer? Are some sports more exclusive than others? Does this help to reinforce stereotypes?

Tickets are available online at A limited number of tickets are available via the Scottish Parliament in person and by telephone on 0131 348 5405.

Full details of the festival programme are available from