Investment in sport is a key Green priority

Today (8 April) Alison Johnstone, Health and Sport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, signed up to the Scottish Sports Alliance's VoteforSport campaign at The Crags Centre in Edinburgh, where she saw the Crags Primary School Basketball Camp in action.

In signing up to VoteforSport Alison Johnstone, Health and Sport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:
"Investment in sport is a key Green priority, as we see the connections between a happy, healthy population, good social skills and a thriving economy. We want to see high quality sport and physical activity provision in schools, and expansion of sports clubs through support for volunteering, accessible facilities and funding to enable everyone to participate. Partnership working is essential. 
"Sport is often overlooked as a means of educating young and old alike and tackling both social and economic disadvantage.  Access to local affordable and quality sporting places is key, and safe spaces are vital if we want to address the drop out rate among young girls.  
"In the last session of parliament I persuaded ministers to include a right to buy for football fans in legislation. In the next session of parliament I want to see investment in local leisure centres and protection for playing fields so competitive sport isn't the only option for active lifestyles.
"Sport contributes to improved physical and mental health, enhanced learning and employability. Cuts to sport are extremely short sighted as this is investment in our national health and well-being. The Scottish Government has cut sport funding from £71.8m last year to £45.8m in 2016-17. Scottish Greens commit to campaigning for a steady level of investment into sportscotland to facilitate long-term planning and support of high-performance sport."

On behalf of the Scottish Sports Alliance, the Scottish Sports Association’s CEO, Kim Atkinson, commented:
“As a nation - Scotland is passionate about sport; almost one-fifth of our population is in membership of one of 13,000 sports clubs in Scotland. As well as being fun and inspiring, sport can contribute to our nation living longer, healthier and happier lives. Whether it's as "the best buy in public health" or simply making sure everyone in Scotland has the opportunity to realise the benefits of being active, we need to press the importance of sport and why it matters to us all.”
“VoteforSport is a chance for us all to show that sport matters ahead of the 2016 Scottish Elections.”
“Our WhySportMatters resources highlight the many benefits of sport and being active, underlining the importance of our VoteforSport campaign. We are delighted that Alison and her Scottish Green Party candidate colleagues have signed our VoteforSport pledge in recognising the unique role and importance of sport to Scotland.”