Start them young

People must begin athletic pursuits early, says Robison

Last Updated: 06/06/12 10:07am

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Sky Sports News' Get Involved Week is encouraging people to try out a host of sports - and Shona Robison says she is following the same principle in Scotland.

"I believe that if you are physically active when you are young then you are more likely to continue that through to adulthood."
Shona Robison Quotes of the week

The Scottish Sports Minister believes the London Olympics, as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will boost the amount of physical activity that children partake in.

But Robison insists that a lot of hard work is already being done to give youngsters in Scotland the chance to play sport on a regular basis, both in and out of the school grounds.

"Sport is very important and we're hoping that the inspiration from the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in two years' time will help to inspire a whole new generation to get more involved in sport and physical activity," Robison told Sky Sports News.

"We have a target of 80 per cent of children meeting the physical activity guidelines of an hour a day by 2022. We're at 72 per cent at the moment so we have got some progress to make.

"But we are very ambitious to expand our active schools programme, which provided opportunities for five million children to take part in a range of sports over the last year.

"We are opening up the school estate after school hours through our community sports hubs. 220,000 young people have gone through the club golf programme since 2003, so we have got a whole new generation learning how to play golf.

"There is much to do but there are a lot of exciting things happening."

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Robison also explained how money is distributed into sport in Scottish schools and why it is vital for people to undertake athletic pursuits during their formative years.

"We contribute around £13million a year to the active schools programme to make sure there is a range of sports and physical activity to take part in," she added. "We also contribute half a million a year to club golf, while we're investing in new facilities.

"It is all about making it easy for people of all ages to take part, but particularly young people. I believe that if you are physically active when you are young then you are more likely to continue that through to adulthood.

"It's important that we focus on the early years. That's why we need to have a range because when I was at school it was limited.

"There were only two or three sports and if you didn't like those sports then that was that. But now there are opportunities like dance and we want that to continue."

Click here for more details about Get Involved Week.

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