The issue now is how to convert the great successes of the Olympics into enhanced participation in sports by young Scots – with the emphasis not simply on winning or on competition but on leading healthier, more active lives.

The Scottish Government has comprehensively monitored the health of the nation since 1995, with the introduction of the Scottish Health Survey. Of particular concern is the finding that less than half of girls aged over 12 are taking the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise.

If young people are to enjoy sports, there must be quality coaching, commitment to after-schools provision, plus adequate investment in facilities and activities. Local groups seeking funding should be aware of all the options open to them. Awards for All Scotland have made many grants to West Fife groups, including schools seeking sports funding in the run-up to the Olympics.

Here in Dunfermline we are fortunate to have our recently refurbished Carnegie Leisure Centre, with its fantastic pools and state-of-the-art gym equipment. The Centre attracts an average 1,000 visitors per evening, as reported recently in the Dunfermline Press, which is very encouraging.

I hope the legacy of the Olympics – and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games – will be the participation of young people in a wide range of sports.

The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly.

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