Local sport must see cash injection ahead of 2014 Games

Jo singled out one of the local athletes who will be looking to excel at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Jo Swinson has called on the Government to ensure local athletes receive financial backing in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo singled out 16-year-old Matthew Graham of Torrance as one young athlete who will be looking to make an impact at the Games. She said:

“I am sure the whole House will join in congratulating the people of Glasgow, the bid team and indeed the support that the bid received on all political sides in order to secure the Games for Glasgow.

“And of course it will be a fabulous opportunity for our young athletes such as 16 year old Matthew Graham in my constituency, who is Scottish champion of the 1,500m steeplechase.

“But given that lottery funding to Sportscotland has halved since 1997 and there is uncertainty about grassroots sports funding because of the lottery money going to the Olympics, what will the Secretary of State be doing to ensure that Scotland gets increased funding both for elite and grassroots sport in the run up to 2014 to ensure that we spot and develop the talent of athletes like Matthew?”

Commenting later, Jo said:

“Having a major event like the Commonwealth Games taking place in our backyard will be a once in a lifetime occasion for our local sportsmen and women.

“Matthew Graham is one such young athlete who will be aiming for success in 2014, but the reality is that we have many very promising competitors from this area. Between now and 2014, they must be given every chance to develop their abilities to the maximum – this means increasing financial investment, including lottery funding, for equipment and facilities.”

“Bringing Commonwealth Games medals home to East Dunbartonshire will make every penny of investment worthwhile.”

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