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The Observatory for Sport in Scotland is partnering with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh to co-host its next event in the ‘National Conversation on Sport’s Role in Society’ series.

This free online event will examine the role of community sport and leisure in public health with a range of speakers from across the health, sport and recreation spectrum. The first session will turn the spotlight on social prescribing and GP referrals, with input from the Royal Colleges of GPs, Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties, and Public Health Scotland.

This will be followed by a session exploring how sport, leisure and health can work together effectively to tackle inactivity and improve health and wellbeing, with co-location of facilities and services being discussed by Sportscotland Chief Executive Stewart Harris and Billy Garrett of Glasgow Life. This session will also feature input from the Moorgarth Group, who are seeking to include community health and sport activity in their regeneration of main streets and shopping centres across Scotland.

The event will be opened by Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, who will provide insight to the Scottish Government’s position on social prescribing, and work the Scottish Government is undertaking to ensure that the health and sport sectors can work together effectively. Register here.

Event programme

Date: Friday 3 September, 2021

Venue: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Online, EH2 1JQ

Co-Chairs: Professor Angela Thomas OBE (Council Member, RCPE) and David Ferguson (Chief Executive, OSS).


Introductions and welcome
Introductions and welcome address from Maree Todd MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport.


Session 1: Social Prescribing
Dr David Shackles (Co-Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners), Dr Miles Mack (Chair, Scottish Academy), Eileen McMillan (Public Health Scotland) and Dr Coral Hanson (Edinburgh Napier University) will discuss latest thinking around and guidelines for social prescribing. Followed by a Q&A and panel discussion.

11.00 Break


Session 2: Opening Access and Co-location of Community Services
Stewart Harris (Chief Executive, sportscotland), Billy Garrett (Strategic Lead, Glasgow Life) and David Waterworth (Moorgarth Group) will discuss innovative partnership approaches to improving community health and access to sport and leisure in the same place. Followed by a Q&A and panel discussion.

12:20 Next steps and close