Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Who Would You Seek Advise from on Scotland's Sporting Legacy?

So Alex Salmond dreams of a Scottish Olympic Team got an unsurprising backing from Sir Sean Connery. Now I'm not saying I'd take much sporting advise from either man, maybe a line or club selection on a golf course from Sir Sean, but would avoid golf course location advise from Alex but then golf has only been an Olympic sport in 1900 and 1904.

No I'd far rather take advise on what is best for sporting success from those who have achieved it Chris Hoy or his fellow cyclist Craig MacLean or Allan Wells. To put some of their arguments in terms that Alex as an economist would understand it is about economies of scale. Wells uses such language when he points out that Scotland would without the coaches, facilities and resources provided by Team GB. McLean says it would be a 'nonsense' and 'backward step' to have a Scottish Team at the Olympics.

Hoy himself says that he would not have achieved his three gold medals if he was part of a Scottish set up. He said:
"There's nothing I love more than going home to Edinburgh but I haven't lived in Scotland for nine years.

"There just aren't the facilities to train there if there were, I would
live there. But like Craig MacLean and Ross Edgar who are the other Scottish
cyclists on the British team I have to be based in Manchester."
Ok the Edinburgh velodrome at Meadowbank is getting rundown and soon there would be a new Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth games but we also need the coaches, and who would be willing to take on the Scottish selection of athletes outwith a team GB set up.

Indeed if there had been a Scottish team this time around we would have had two less medals in Scotland as both Hoy's team sprint gold and Katherine Grainger's 3rd rowing silver would have been taken by a non-Scot taking up their place on the track or in the boat.

Salmond has weighed in to Hoy's attack by promising looking at investment in facilities for cycling. However, going back to Katherine Grainger where are the Scottish rowing facilities to match those in England. Scotland's best swimmers are also mainly based at pools where the top coaches are either in England or Wales. The GB taekwando are also based in Manchester and share the sports psychologists that so ably assisted the cyclists to such heights.

You see Alex you have opened up an economic black hole of you really want to restore Scottish pride and nationalism through sport and want to see the Saltire raised over and over again at the Olympics. There is not just the infrastructure for the venues there is the coaches, other staff etc behind our top sportspeople that you need to replicate.

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