Disability Sport and Participation

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 5th December 2019.

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Photo of Joe FitzPatrick Joe FitzPatrick Scottish National Party

The very important point that Mike Rumbles and other members have made is about the type of society and welfare system that we have.

I certainly hope that, as we develop our social security system in Scotland, people will not have that fear. Some people in the medical profession say that, if we could turn physical activity into a pill, it would be called a miracle cure—I am misquoting, but they use words to that effect. If we have a way of improving people’s health, surely we should encourage them to take that action rather than making them afraid of losing their benefits.

There have been many examples of para-athletes achieving success. Alison Johnstone mentioned the wheelchair curlers who were inspirational in the world championships in March, on home ice in Stirling. I was pleased to visit the national curling academy in Stirling, where I heard at first hand about the developments that Scottish Curling is making to ensure that it is inclusive. I even managed to have a go—I was told that I was not too bad, given that it was the first time that I had tried curling. I tried it both ways: using the stick and on the ground—