SIR KENNY Dalglish was one of 25 guests at the Observatory’s first Business Breakfast held in London, courtesy of Aberdeen Standard Investments.
Host Martin Gilbert, a board member of OSS since its inception in 2016 and chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments, welcomed guests from across sport, business and political worlds in a discussion around the challenges facing participation in sport in Scotland. Nick Rowe, lead researchers with the OSS, outlined his recent research which showed that sport participation had remained at the same level over the past decade – around 53%, not including walking – but that the reality below that figure was of an affluent ‘sporty’ class taking part in more sport, more often, and the involvement of any kind of sport among less affluent groups tumbling.
Dalglish, who grew up playing in the streets of Glasgow, recognised that it was a major challenge now for children to be as active as in his childhood, admitting that he would never have dreamt of allowing his own children to walk to school as he did due to traffic and concerns around crime. The OSS presented on positive work being done across Scotland, examples of new policy in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, and the need for high quality research, evidence and analysis to help the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to turn these into sustainable programmes that benefited all in society.
Dalglish was joined by former Scotland rugby captain Bryan Redpath, Lord Campbell, the former LibDem leader and Olympic athlete, Scottish businessman and entrepreneur Malcolm Offord, new Mencap CEO Edel Harris and a host of people from different sectors in supporting OSS plans to provide better understanding of the challenges and solutions in partnership with stakeholders to enable more people of all ages and abilities to take part in regular sport activity in their communities.
The OSS is now embarking upon a series of research projects, including Scotland’s first National Sport Survey, investigation of new models for Community Sport and Leisure delivery and facility management, disability and sport. If you want to join our growing band of OSS Supporters and effect real improvement in Scotland, get in touch here.