30 May 2013

Elite sport or a more active community?

Felt I had to write one last letter to my Councillors:

One last comment before your meeting today -  my comments on Waterworld are pretty much summed up here

But can I also add, that as a cyclist, I am appalled that you are spending £1m on the cycletrack proposed for Jack Kane/Hunter's Hall, and not on Waterworld?  It is entirely unclear that there is any case to be made for the Jack Kane/Hunter Hall track - and many concerns about it.  It will only ever be used by a tiny minority of elite cyclists - and the best of them will go to Glasgow for the velodrome anyway. But Waterworld would support kids starting out on healthier, active lifestyles -- especially groups in the city who may not use other sports facilities.  Softplay does not fill this gap, and the market is already over saturated in Edinburgh anyway.

Both Waterworld/Commie pool and the Meadowbank/Jack Kane sagas capture Edinburgh's problem - not maintaining or marketing facilities that we have, and then promoting elite sport over fun activities that channel kids into more active lifestyles.

We're all aware of the financial challenges faced by the city, but they are the result of short term thinking and will only be solved by more long-term planning, not just plugging holes.

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