Scottish Government Response To The Findings And Recommendations
RO1 Scottish society is changing and sport needs to adapt. A number of organisations claim to be the voice of Scottish sport, but to thrive, sport needs a clear agreed common purpose in order to be more joined up and work effectively. This could be achieved by sport organisations aligning themselves around shared, agreed and well defined outcomes, perhaps in line with the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework.
Response: The Scottish Government agrees that the offer from the sporting sector needs to adapt with our changing society. sportscotland’s new Corporate Strategy Sport for Life, outlines a vision of an active Scotland where everyone benefits from sport. The strategy was developed following an extensive consultation which engaged with over 1,200 people inside and outside sport. It recognises that the sporting system needs to be responsive and adopt a person-centred approach. Within this Strategy, the sporting system diagram has been updated to more explicitly demonstrate that sport contributes to all six Active Scotland outcomes. We will continue to work with sportscotland and partners to help drive forward shared messages and look for ways to improve alignment to the Active Scotland Outcomes.
RO2 The demands placed upon small and medium sized sports governing bodies, means that their capacity and in some cases capability, to deliver core objectives and outcomes is currently compromised. Necessary back office functions, such as human resources, legal and accountancy services should be shared much more across Governing Bodies. This could be achieved by one collaborative body facilitating a step change in the current level of support across, for example, governing bodies of sport.
Response: The Scottish Government appreciates the demands placed on small and medium sized governing bodies and recognises the economies of scale that can be established by shared services. We are aware than some SGBs already benefit from accessing shared services and will work with SGBs, alongside sportscotland and the Scottish Sports Association, to ensure our sporting bodies are fully supported.
RO3 Scottish Sport would be helped if budgets were fixed over a longer period to allow for long term strategic planning.
Response: The Scottish Government acknowledges the financial pressures placed on sporting clubs and organisations, however, due to the current allocation of public budgets, we cannot commit to longer term funding settlements. However, sportscotland’s investment process with Local Authorities and Scottish Governing Bodies of sport seeks to set and agree ‘in principle’ investment levels for up to four-years in advance so that effective planning can take place.
RO4 The ability of Scottish sport to attract philanthropy as a significant additional income stream to support social outcomes is in its infancy.
Response: We are keen to support the sporting sector to engage with the corporate and business sector to explore alternative funding streams and potential sponsorship opportunities.
RO5 The sector would benefit from a comprehensive organisational map and shared understanding of Scottish Sport, including the remits of different organisations.
Response: The Scottish Government recognises the sporting sector is a complicated picture in terms of organisations and will use this review to open discussions with partners on how to ensure a shared understanding of the sector. The sporting system diagram developed by sportscotland illustrates how those who provide sporting opportunities in Scotland work together for the benefit of those who take part. The sporting system diagram is not an organisational map but can be used by organisations to see where they fit in and as a tool for dialogue between partners to ensure a shared understanding of remits. We will work with sportscotland to help organisations inside and outside the sporting system make the best use of the money, time, expertise and information invested in sport. This means having the right partnerships working together in the right way.
RO6 A number of sporting organisations have historical remits, capacity and capability creating overlap and duplication. The strengths of these organisations should be harnessed to improve overall capacity and capability.
Response: The Scottish Government recognises that there are great examples of best practice and sports organisations working in communities and adapting to local needs. We, along with sportscotland, will work to highlight this to help all in the sector to embrace change and deliver against the agreed Active Scotland Outcomes.
RO7 Scotland has given a lot to the world of sport but it also needs to consider further embracing opportunities that are presented.
RO8 A UN sport specific remit around sport for development and the 2030 sustainable development goals provides sport with an international mandate.
RO9 The growth and advances in digital technology should be captured.
Response to RO7, RO8 and RO9: The sporting system is made up of different components that interact with each other. It is not a structure, an organisation or a process. The system adapts to its environment. So as the world around sport changes, the system components and the way they interact evolves. In a changing world we need to be aware of what’s happening and adapt when needed. This means we need to find ways to help keep our nation active, by responding to changes in how people want to take part in sport and making the most of emerging technologies to support them at whatever level they choose to be involved.
RO10 The review recommends that steps are taken to establish an independent Advisory Group for Sport or A National Sports Forum with a clear aim and terms of reference.
Response: The Scottish Government recognises the need for sport to have a coherent voice and will work with partners within the existing governance structures to examine the advantages and disadvantages of establishing an independent advisory board for sport.
RO11 The review recognises the desire and aspiration for the sporting sector to attract funding from areas such as charitable foundations and corporate business. It is recommended that this is an area for further exploration.
Response: The Scottish Government accepts this recommendation and will look at the way foundations are administered, both in Scotland and overseas, to see how to best benefit the Scottish sporting sector.
RO12 The review recommends that Scottish sport is supported to develop its potential as a soft power asset to advance Scotland’s cultural relations.
Response: The Scottish Government recognises the power of sport and how it can be used to improve relations around the world. During the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Scottish Ministers met with over twenty different Governments and used sport as a vehicle to raise issues such as business opportunities and human rights. We continue to do this as we continue to engage with other nations through sport and major events in particular.
RO13 The Scottish Government has stated its ambition to embed human rights across all areas of policy in a way that makes a difference in the lives of people in Scotland and demonstrates global leadership in setting standards. Sport and human rights is an area where Scotland could aspire to be a world leader.
Response: Similar to RO8, the Scottish Government will continue to use sport to improve the lives of people in Scotland, ensuring that opportunities are available to everyone and highlight this process to other countries around the world as a way of improving the human rights of their people.
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