Many great athletes’ careers started in their community, taking the first steps in their chosen sport through clubs run by passionate volunteers. Whether it’s the football-loving parent who volunteers to take the local team, or someone giving up their spare time to keep the tennis, rugby, golf or cricket club going, many of the country’s greatest sportspeople wouldn’t have made it without the help of their community.
In Perthshire, we’re lucky enough to have some fantastic community groups throughout the region who do a lot to make sure everybody has the opportunity to enjoy sport. Now, there’s a national initiative delivered by sportscotland and supported locally by Live Active Leisure – Community Sport Hubs – which gets local sports groups and organisations to come together and share good practice, expertise, knowledge and resources.
With sport hubs already set up in St. Madoes, Auchterarder and Kinross-shire – Live Active has supported the local community in Aberfeldy to have their very own Community Sport Hub in a move which is sure to excite the residents of the Highland Perthshire town.
The initiative was set up by sportscotland as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy, and each sport hub has to raise their own money needed to operate, through various fundraisers and projects. St. Madoes and Auchterarder have both raised over a million pounds each, mainly down to the high levels of voluntary support in their communities.
The locals of Aberfeldy have been working hard for some time now to set up their Community Sport Hub and they’ve been supported by Live Active’s Community Sport Hubs Officer, Kirsteen Ross, in their efforts. They’ve even got their own colourful and eye-catching logo, designed by local primary school pupil, Katie Harvey, reflecting the range of sports that are members of the new hub.
Kirsteen is excited to see the hub begin work in the Aberfeldy area, and hopes that it will help to get people more active and involved in sport at a local level.
“Now that the sport hub has its own striking new identity thanks to the excellent creativity of Katie, work will begin in the autumn with the hub undertaking a community survey to help us understand the barriers to participation and to identify what types of sporting and physical activity opportunities local people would like to see developed in the area.
“The hub will also work closely with Breadalbane Academy and cluster primary schools to make plans to get more people active more often, by helping clubs to get stronger and by understanding and meeting the community’s needs.”
There are a range of different clubs and organisations that are part of the new Community Sport Hub in Aberfeldy, all aiming to encourage people to get active and get involved in their sport. Work will begin in the autumn with the hub undertaking a community survey to help us understand the barriers to participation. Aberfeldy’s golf, curling, swimming and tennis clubs will join Breadalbane Rugby Club, Breadalbane and Strathtay Football Club, Highland Perthshire Cycling, Highland Perthshire Riding Group, Breadalbane Canoe Club and Perthshire Lifestyles as hub members.
Although each Community Sport Hub has its own unique vision and values, the initiative has five common principles which join each area hub together. They want to see growth in participation in sport at all ages and stages of life, to understand and put plans in place to meet community needs, to support and develop community leadership, to offer a wide range of sports and to get everybody working together to make the hub successful.
The sport hubs are community owned and led by fantastic volunteers from clubs and organisations who want to be there for the benefit of everyone in the community regardless of age or sporting ability. It’s a great initiative which really shows the positive impact sport can have on a local community.
For more information about Community Sport Hubs or if you would like to develop a Community Sport Hub in your area, contact Kirsteen Ross on 01738 472245 or at KRoss@liveactive.co.uk.
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