Shetland MSP Tavish Scott this week led a debate on the Island Games in the Scottish Parliament.
Using a Members’ Business Debate to draw attention to this year’s Games in Gotland, Tavish called on Scottish ministers to introduce an island fund to help athletes with the cost of travel, and pressed the importance of Shetland hosting the Games in the future.
Commenting afterwards, Tavish Scott said:
“The Games are a fantastic opportunity for island communities across the world to come together to celebrate sporting excellence. Athletes do more than simply compete – they are ambassadors for their home islands too.
“To take part in the Games, competitors have to raise a significant amount to cover their travel and living costs. I welcome the Transport Minister’s confirmation that funding has been identified from sportscotland and I look forward to progress being made for an Islands Athletes Travel Fund.”
“Many people have fantastic memories of Shetland hosting the Games back in 2005. I hope a new generation of Shetlanders will have the chance to experience that if we host the games again in the future.”
Watch the full debate here.
Notes: The motion lodged by Tavish was as follows:
Island Games, Support Scotland's Athletes
That the Parliament welcomes the NatWest Island Games taking place in Gotland, Sweden; recognises the contributions and efforts of athletes from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland to the Island Games; notes that, in addition to Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, 21 further island groups are participating, featuring more than 4,000 athletes across 14 different sports; further notes that athletes from Shetland will be participating in each of the 14 sports; is concerned that the cost of travel for training and competing is often disproportionately higher for Shetland athletes than those from other parts of Scotland, and often prohibitively so; recalls the assurances given by the Scottish Government in September 2016 that it would give consideration to the creation of an islands transport fund for athletes; notes the view that such a fund would further the careers of individuals and teams that are successful in being chosen for Scottish representative sport; believes that this biannual event brings together athletes, families and supporters from across the globe and is a wonderful meeting of friends, bringing out all that is good in sport, and wishes all competitors the best of luck in their pursuit of medals in Gotland.