Machars sports hub “thriving” say council

Community sport hubs were one of Sportscotland’s main Games Legacy initiatives developed as part of Scotland staging one of the world’s largest sporting events in 2014.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is at the forefront of delivering this commitment to local communities across the region, with The Machars the latest community to benefit from its own Community Sports Hub.

A council spokesman said: “Community sport hubs provide a discussion forum for sport where the focus is on clubs and other local organisations that want to work together to improve the sport offered in their local community and grow participation. Objectives include engaging with the local community, creating schools to club links and effective sporting pathways, promoting community leadership and building the capacity of local sports clubs to build of thriving sporting community.

“A number of sports clubs from the Machars and the surrounding area have been meeting regularly with officers from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s leisure and sport service. Progress to date has been encouraging and plans are now in place to formalise a vision, aims and objectives for the hub and what it would like to see happen in 2015/16 for sport in the Machars. The forum was useful in communicating opportunities for sport clubs and developing a website which will host information on all clubs and activities in the area and how these can be accessed.

“Groups currently signed up to the Community Sports Hub include:

Newton Stewart Rugby Club

Galloway Thistle Football Club

Newton Stewart Golf Club

Newton Stewart Tennis Club

Newton Stewart Bowling Club

Merrick Maverick Swimming Club

Galloway Netball Club

“Any other clubs and local groups interested in community sport are encouraged to get involved.

“Other benefits from clubs working together include improved opportunities of gaining external funding, sharing resources, timetabling of activities to provide greater choices and greater access to training and coach education. Clubs would also benefit through working with the Council’s Active Schools and Community Sport Officer to enhance school to club links, the transition from school to club sport and sporting competition. Lorna Phillips from Douglas Ewart High School designed the logo for the sport hub.”

Councillor Tom McAughtrie, who is Chair of the Council’s Community and Customer Services Committee said; “The Community Sports Hub in the Machars is developing a partnership where clubs are working closely together with support from professional officers who have a background in sports development. The Sports Hub is a great opportunity to enhance the good work that is already happening in the area and through partnership embed club sport at the heart of local decision making.”