"An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head."
While SALSC acknowledges the value of a network of nationally elected members, this can only achieve so much – the desire, willingness and support needs to exist locally if true change is to be achieved. The same is true for SALSC and our membership and for barriers to be removed it often requires a local, rather than national solution. We feel that, through our own work and the work of our members, SALSC is best placed national body to create a connection locally and make a difference to benefit our members and local grassroots sport. It is for this reason that SALSC has placed a strong emphasis on first creating, then growing a network of local councillors.
We appreciate the many demands made of locally elected officials and therefore the need for clear and concise information and solutions. The purpose of this network is for SALSC to gather evidence from across the sector and present the case in clear, concise and compelling terms to local councillors explaining the contribution sport can make to local communities. The more local councillors that can witness firsthand the role that sport can play in reducing health problems, lowering crime, improving social integration and teaching our young people positive core moral values – not to mention the long term savings all this can make – the greater chance there is of achieving longer term investment in sport at grassroots level.
In addition to the benefit outlined above, we appreciate that many of Scotland’s 32 local authorities will face similar difficulties and obstacles that need to be solved locally. It is hoped this network can be used by councillors to share examples of how positive solutions have been found to overcome common obstacles.
In preparation for the 2017 Local Elections SALSC will be highlighting the importance of our members work by raising awareness of the valuable work carried out at a local level by the strong network of clubs and volunteers involved in Local Sports Councils. The first step to this will be the launch of the National Guide to Local Sports Councils which will be circulated through our membership network directly to Councillors in 2016.