Call made for funding package to help sporting competitors
Travel costs and other expenses faced by sports people and teams will be highlighted to the Scottish Sports Minister at Holyrood today.
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott and Commonwealth Games swimmer Andrea Strachan will meet Jamie Hepburn MSP to press the case for an islands funding package.
It is hoped the idea could help sporting enthusiasts compete in more events on the Scottish mainland by reducing costs.
Mr Scott said, “The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year was fantastic. Much was said about legacy and how the £500 million cost of the games would bring long term benefits to all parts of Scotland.
“The best way to help sports teams and individuals in Shetland is to allow them to compete. In recent weeks, the ladies hockey team has played a national semi-final in Aberdeen. On 11th April the senior Shetland football team play a final in Orkney, having won qualifying matches across the north of Scotland. Our swimmers are regularly on the Scottish mainland competing.
“All this travel costs money. There is welcome sponsorship from Northlink and Loganair. But ferry and plane transport plus accommodation is still a very expensive package. So we need an islands sports travel scheme that would level the financial playing field. Home matches for our teams should mean Lerwick or Brae, not Aberdeen.”
It comes after Mr Scott last week met the chief executive of Sportscotland, Stuart Harris, and spoke with a number of sporting governing bodies on the venue for matches and the costs Shetland’s sporting teams and individuals face.