Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Retaining young people in sport.

Milton of Campsie  loop
44.55- 6.00 miles
Steady run in darkness along the walkway to Campsie. Legs felt fine after weekend's run and yesterday's cycle which was 2 hours long up and down the hills out by Gartshore.  I am just back from a seminar organised by the  Scottish  Golf Union which was about marketing your golf club and trying to keep and recruit new members.  One of the statistics we were given was that over 70% of children in Scotland do not do any sport by the age of 17 and they are looking at the reasons behind this and how to stop kids leaving golf when they leave school.  I think this drop out of sport has always been there and it's only now that we are more aware due to the rising obesity rates.  When I was a senior boy and youth  in the Harriers the drop out was even higher and the above photo taken in the summer of 79 shows a large group of boys of which only 3 or 4 actually made it to senior level.  I think that it is hard for children to keep up a sport as a hobby due to all the changes and outside pressures that is thrust upon them when they leave the safe environment of school.  I kept running because I love running and it was not a problem for me.  My son Craig loves his golf and I think he will always continue with his ambitions to play at a good level and improve.  In our local golf club we have had 150-175 juniors each year for the last 6 years and on average only 2-3 per year keep playing after they turn 18 and move up to Youth level. As I said earlier, this is a problem for all sports and I certainly don't know what the answers are but it is now an even bigger problem due to the health issues. Just going back to the above picture,  behind the boy wearing red tracksters and holding the baton is none other than a very young Billy Minto of the Billytheshoe blog!

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