OBSERVATORY FOR SPORT IN SCOTLAND
We support Scotland's community sports sector with independent research, knowledge exchanges, publications, policy/practice recommendations and international benchmarking.
Observatory for Sport in Scotland (OSS)
Observatory for Sport in Scotland
Research Strategy & Programme
Recently we have commissioned several pieces of research to bring evidence-based clarity on the levels and trends in Scottish sports participation. This research is underpinned by international insight, as well as being combined with new perspectives such as the theory of ‘sporting capital’ (the sporting equivalent of ‘human capital’).
Observatory for Sport in Scotland
Cross Sector Collaborations
Through engagement with business, the sport in the community sector and academia, and the creation of Forums for networking and discussion, OSS brings together stakeholders to establish a strong, coherent and informed voice for sport across all facets of the community. Backed by relevant and independent research, from across Scotland and around the world, these stakeholders are in a strong position to shape policy recommendations for the funding, infrastructure and growth of community sport in Scotland.
Jon Best is a former researcher at the Tourism and Recreation Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh and was then in charge of research at SportScotland for 20 years with a year out as head of research at the Hong Kong Sports Development Board.
He commissioned and managed over 100 substantive projects and edited their reports. These included major evaluations of the Active Schools initiative for some five years, and responsibility for an extensive range of research projects relating to the use of sports facilities; the role of sports clubs; and participation by different social groups that included the management of joint projects with Sport England and UK Sport. He implemented, designed, managed and reported on 20 years of national surveys of sports participation.
An independent consultant with Best and Randak since 2009, he engages in qualitative and quantitative research in the fields of sport and other physical activity including disability. He is on the Advisory Editorial Board of Managing sport and leisure: an international journal.
“Sport has always been an important part of my life and I helped establish OSS because of my belief in sport as a force for good for all. I also wanted to bring partnership expertise to the charity knowing that if we can work with others we will achieve much more; more sport for more people throughout their lives”.
Claire has spent the bulk of her career working in the public/ private delivery of built infrastructure. She has worked across the UK and internationally.
As a Director and Executive Board Member of Local Partnerships LLP from 2009-2013, a joint venture between HM Treasury and the Local Government Association, she led teams working across programmes of energy efficiency, built and digital infrastructure, and social fund management. Prior to Local Partnerships Claire worked for Partnerships UK, heading up their Scottish business. A Chartered Architect by profession Claire received her Honours Degree and Diploma from the Mackintosh School of Architecture and Glasgow University.
Claire has been involved in various sports all her life, athletics and hockey being her early interests, now she focuses on trying to reduce her golf handicap.
Barry spent much of his career in investment management, and was the head of investment of two insurance companies, and from 1993 to 2001 was the Chief Executive of Scottish Provident UK. Since then he has served on the Boards of a variety of companies as a non executive member, such as Liverpool Victoria, Wolfson Microelectronics and Optos. He presently also serves on the Boards of Aberdeen Smaller Companies Investment Trust, Dimensional Imaging Ltd and is a trustee of Medical Research Scotland.
Dr. Remco Hoekman is a senior research at the Mulier Institute and affiliated to the Radboud University. Furthermore, Remco is president of the European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS) and co-editor of the European Journal for Sport and Society. His research interests include sport policies, sport facilities, sport participation and financial aspects of sport. He has an extensive national and international publication list, including both policy-oriented and fundamental research, and is a frequently asked expert, advisor and speaker on the abovementioned topics. Remco is like no other capable of connecting science and practice and is a recognized expert in both fields. Consequently, he holds several advisory positions and is, amongst others, columnist for SportAccom (a journal on sport facilities), and member of the evaluation committee for the election of 'Sport municipality of the year’ and 'Best sport policy initiative’ in the Netherlands. Internationally, he is known as the founder of the expert group on sport facility databases and related research, and as one of the initiators of the ‘Measure’ network, a network with the aim to enhance knowledge on sport participation. In addition, he is an expert member of networks on sport organisations (SORN) and sport policy and politics (POLIS).
Remco breaths sports and is in his leisure time an active sport participant and sport volunteer. He enjoys to play tennis, visit the gym and cycle with his friends. In addition, he contributes as a volunteer to the sport activities of his children and he is the chairman of a tennis club.
Member of the Executive of the International School Sports Federation
Now retired, Charlie, during his working career was a PE teacher,PE adviser (Lothian Regional Council), Sport and Recreation Manager (West Lothian Council)and held various postions including ; Chair of Local Authorities PE Network, Chair Scottish Schoolsport Federation; and Member of the Scottish Executive PE Review. He is currently is a member of the International Schoolsport Federation Executive (ISF) and the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Sport. He has been a volunteer throughout his adult life in various positions including Swimming Coach ( age group/national performance/masters); Swimming Manager (Convenor) at Warrender BC and Chair of Scottish Schools Swimming Association.
Nick Rowe MPhil (Edin) BA (Hons)
Nick is currently 'Research Lead' and a member of the Research Advisory Group for the Observatory for Sport in Scotland. He provides consultancy services on sport and public policy and is a Visiting Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University. His book setting out a new paradigm for sports development, 'Sporting capital: Transforming sports development policy and practice' was published by Routledge in November 2017. His is currently directing research for OSS on, 'Sports participation in Scotland: trends and future prospects'.
Nick was educated at Oxford Polytechnic, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Texas and joined the then Great Britain Sports Council (to become Sport England) research team in 1983 where he remained until June 2012. Whilst at Sport England Nick held the post of Head of Strategy, Research and Planning and Strategic Lead for Research where he was influential in shaping and delivering a world leading national research programme. Nick led the design and delivery of the Active People Survey - the largest sport survey in Europe and was lead author on the Sport England Strategy document ‘The Framework for Sport in England’. He has been influential in international research initiating and for 5 years co-directing the European wide COMPASS project on comparative sport participation statistics. Nick has been the invited speaker at international conferences in China, Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel and Spain.
Nick has completed 5 London Marathons and recently completed a 3, 600 bike ride around the cost of Britain. He is the current President of Woodford Golf Club near his home in Essex.
Richard was also a successful competitive cyclists winning 11 medals (6 gold, 2 sliver, 3 bronze) at Scottish Championships. He is a Level 3 Coach and Coach Educator for British Cycling (18 years) and has coached at Commonwealth and Olympic Games level.
Specialities: Exercise physiology teaching and research, Higher Education management, change management, coach education, elite cycling coaching, Chromosome 18
“I have personally gained enormous value and enjoyment by being active through amateur sport and encourage my family to take part too. Professionally, through Blackwood, we are always looking at innovative ways to help our customers live their life to the full. Many of them have disabilities, and sport has been a great catalyst for engendering social relationships, creating exhilarating experiences, and promoting fun, which inevitably leads to wellbeing. I am very interested in helping raise the value of sport in an inclusive way for everyone”.
Fanchea is CEO of Blackwood Homes and Care and has held senior roles across Scotland in her 20plus years as a housing professional. Fanchea currently leads a team dedicated to innovation, inspired by customers and their families and friends to find new independent living solutions through combining design, technology, and excellent services. This stretches well beyond the traditional boundaries of providing good landlord and care services and includes the beautiful new Blackwood House – a new standard of highly accessible design – and CleverCogs – co-designed software which keeps customers in control of managing their life. Blackwood’s latest exciting customer event in the National Sports Training Centre in Largs showcased how everyone can try new sports regardless of age, ability, or confidence.
“I am passionate about Scotland and outdoor sports especially mountaineering. I am delighted to bringing my enthusiasm for inclusivity across sport and experience as a planner and developer to OSS work”.
Bob has a Master of Civic Design Liverpool University and is Royal Town Planning Institute Full Member. He has served on the Countryside Commission Scotland's Advisory Panel on Access. He's Founder member Scottish Wildlife & Countryside. 1990 to 1994 he was President Mountaineering Council of Scotland. 1991 - WINSTON CHURCHILL FELLOW, planning & access arrangements in USA. Member National Trust for Scotland's mgmt committee Mar Lodge Estate Cairngorms to 2006. To 2004 SCOTTISH SOCIETY OF DIRECTORS OF PLANNING. To 2002 Founder member of Scottish National Access Forum [for MCofS & then COSLA/SSDP]. To 2004 Depute Head then Head of Physical Development [Planning] Aberdeen City Council. 2013 - WInner RTPI Award for Planning Excellence - HFM Best Small Consultancy of the year. AUTHOR of numerous articles and papers on a wide variety of subjects including Mountaineering; Access in Scotland; National Parks; and (of course) Town Planning.
“I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to play lots of sports in my childhood, from football to golf, shinty to rugby, swimming to basketball and tennis; from Paisley to St Andrews, Drumnadrochit and ‘The Glen’ to Galashiels, and a year in the American school system learning a raft of new sports.
“I played none to a high level, but all gave me something that has helped me as a person, and made life more fun.
“My passion is opening up more opportunities for every person in Scotland, from birth to older age, big, small, fit, unfit, in cities and towns or villages and hamlets, to experience sport. Any sport. Walking clubs to gym classes, fishing to yoga, and the fantastic myriad of well-known team and individual sports we have in this wonderful small country of ours. Sport is not an exclusive club, sport is for all. Some doubt that - largely as a result of experiencing 'adverse sporting experiences' - but doubts disappear with positive experiences.
“It is a privilege to lead OSS as we strive to connect with everyone involved in sport in Scotland and help them to grow by providing the academic research and evidence required to persuade people and funders to get involved.”
With appearances in Scottish Schools rugby and Scottish Youth football finals, David had a mixed sporting upbringing. He qualified as a journalist and worked for The Berwickshire News and East Lothian Herald, The Southern Reporter, Scottish Rugby Magazine and The Scotsman. Covering sports events across the globe, he has contributed to all Scottish and most UK national newspaper titles as well as to BBC and independent radio and television over the past 30 years.
He launched Ferguson Media in 2014 to help businesses with communications, PR and public affairs, working with a wide variety of clients in the corporate, charity and third sectors.
A sports administrator, fundraiser and coach in various sports, David has held a number of voluntary and non-executive director posts.
David took over from Marie McQuade as OSS Executive Director on 1 January, 2019 and has started building on the strong foundations laid by Marie and the OSS Board.
David has a broad remit as Strategic Development Director at Merchiston Castle School. His work covers widening participation and income diversification. He serves as Scotland Regional Vice President of the Institute for Development Professionals in Education. David has been in fundraising and income generation throughout his career in financial services and education.’
“As a young boy, table tennis, was my gateway to the wider world. I learnt much more than how to hit the ball. I was able to mix with people of all ages and backgrounds and learn valuable life lessons that have stayed with me. My interest in OSS is to support the charity to form and grow so that we bring a healthy debate to the sports sector in Scotland about how we can better bring sport to the people and volunteers at the coalface who could really benefit – now more than ever”.
Graduated B Ed Hons in Physical Education from Strathclyde University and a Diploma in French Language, Sorbonne. Richard has taught and lectured in PE and worked in sports development roles in Glasgow and the Scottish Sports Council. In 2006, received the Emlyn Jones Award for “ exceptional service in the administration of sport”.
Eight times Scottish Table Tennis Men’s Singles Champion and National Club Champion in Scotland, England and France. Richard has travelled the world representing Scotland at World, European and Commonwealth Championships a record 285 times.
Former National Coach in Scotland, Belgium and Ireland, Richard is a passionate advocate of the important contribution made by National Governing Bodies, clubs and the voluntary sector to sport in society. Current board member and former Chairman, 2005-11, of the Games and Sport Division of Sport and Recreation Alliance. Richard had been CEO of the English Table Tennis Association since 1995 and last year Richard moved to Scotland and became COO of Table Tennis Scotland.