Disability Sport

– in the Scottish Parliament on 4th May 2022.

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Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

5. To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking to support the return of disability sport in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. (S6F-01063)

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Through sportscotland, we are providing almost £600,000 this year to help to deliver the new plan of Scottish Disability Sport, which is the sports body for people of all ages and abilities who have a physical, sensory or learning disability. The plan launched in April 2021 and sets a clear vision that sport and physical activity in Scotland are welcoming and inclusive for participants with disabilities.

That comes in addition to last year’s get into summer programme, which included targeted sessions at the grass-roots level for children and young people with disabilities.

Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

Sport in general has taken a significant hit during Covid, with many people unable to participate, and we are beginning to see the impact of that on the nation’s physical and mental health.

Disability sport has been disproportionately affected. Sports such as powerchair football, which is a fantastic sport that enables the inclusion of some of our most disabled athletes, are struggling to regain and recruit players.

Such crucial outlets for inclusion will not recover and thrive without direct intervention from the Scottish Government, at the national level, and local government. What consideration has the Scottish Government given to actively encouraging and enabling the recovery of disability sport after the pandemic?

The First Minister:

I very much agree with the sentiments of the question and I agree with the member on the importance of sport generally, and the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities are able to fully participate in sport, if that is their wish, and physical activity.

In my original answer, I spoke about the funding that we have made available, and I am very happy, in the light of this question, to look at what further action we can take to try to support the recovery of sport in general, and disability sport in particular, from the impact of Covid.

I will ask the minister to write to the member in due course with further details of that consideration.