Positive feel to facility talks

SPORTS-MINDED people from across the Borders have thrown their weight behind the creation of a new facilities strategy, writes Fiona Scott.

More than 70 delegates, representing over 30 sports, activities and leisure interests, attended an all-day conference, organised by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), Borders Sport and Leisure Trust (BSLT) and Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust (JLFT) under the Physical Activity, Sport and Physical Education (PASPE) strategy banner, in Galashiels on Sunday.

And, despite being warned about impending funding cuts by both local and national bodies, the general feeling at the gathering was positive with all present keen to look for a way forward over the next 10 years and beyond.

One of many in attendance was Gala international rugby star Gregor Townsend who said: “The conference was huge for the Borders and I hope that we will see it provide a launchpad for a new sports facilities strategy that people across the Borders will buy into and help to take forward over the next 10 years.

“I have seen and heard some great ideas for sports facilities and there is some really hard work going on around the region, but a lot of it is in little pockets, so my hope is that this is the start of a more supportive, cohesive way forward that will allow us to secure more funding over the next 10 years and beyond.”

SBC, BSLT and JLFT will work together in coming weeks to take forward the conference outcomes and also collate the feedback from consultation around the Kit Campbell Associates report on Borders sports facilities.

The consultation period surrounding that concludes on March 15 with the aim of finalising a facilities strategy to feed into the wider PASPE strategy this summer.