Great lengths for Scottish Swimming
As Scottish Swimming launched its updated Corporate Plan, sportscotland demonstrated its own commitment to the future development of the sport by announcing an annual investment of over £1.3 million for 2009-10.
Today's announcement, of which £751,000 is sportscotland funding from the Scottish Government and £580,242 is from the sportscotland lottery fund, represents the largest ever single investment in a Scottish Governing Body (SGB).
Announcing the funding Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland said: "Our investment of £1,331,242 will support Scottish Swimming in delivering against its objectives in its revised Corporate Plan. The funding will be used to continue the development and innovation that has seen swimming become one of Scotland's most successful sports in recent times.
"As a former competitive swimmer myself I can fully appreciate the benefits that the sport brings as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. I am delighted that our investment will enable many more Scots to experience the benefits for themselves."
Minister for Public Health and Sport Shona Robison said: "This investment of £751,000 highlights the importance we place on swimming which is one of the top participation sports in Scotland. It is second only to walking for adults and ranks third after football and cycling for children.
"This, alongside the recent announcement of £5.5 million for the development of swimming pools and facilities in Fife and Tayside and our £5 million commitment towards a new 50m pool in Aberdeen, demonstrates this Government's commitment to Scottish Swimming which will help us to increase participation, improve performance and deliver a lasting legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."
Scottish Swimming has set challenging targets in all areas of its business from increasing participation amongst school children to delivering medals for Scotland at the highest level.
The headline targets in the updated Corporate Plan not only deliver against sportscotland's seven priority areas but also contribute to the Scottish Government's strategic objectives in Scotland Performs. While high performance remains a key driver for Scottish Swimming there is also recognition that not everyone can, or wants to be a competitive swimmer so a number of targets have been set to encourage people to continue within the sport, irrespective of their abilities.
Scottish Swimming has adopted a regional approach to deliver swimming through its key partners, including local authorities and schools, to provide more opportunities for people to enjoy life long participation. This complements sportscotland's move towards a regional and community focus, building on existing networks, facilities and expertise to create more and better access to sport at a local level across Scotland.
Welcoming the investment, Ashley Howard, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Swimming said: "This year's investment from sportscotland demonstrates tremendous confidence in our governing body as we develop our infrastructure and challenge ourselves to deliver a world class swimmer pathway and outstanding results in Glasgow in 2014. The support is critical for the pathway in its entirety with new investment targeted to the implementation of our regional swimming development manager model, bringing governing body support closer to our clubs, swim schools and local authorities and other pool providers.
"As we launch our updated Corporate Plan and our Facilities Strategy & Pool Management and Programming Guide, confirmation of our investment marks an exciting time in the sport with our Healthy Living strand now on stream, growth in our education strand, and support for more full time paid coaches on the ground than ever before.
"By delivering against our ambitious plans for each step in the swimmer pathway, Scottish Swimming, with the continued support of sportscotland, can build on our outstanding performance to date and make our vision - everyone can swim - a reality."