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MSP calls for travel fund to support isles athletes

| Written by Shetland News

Swimmer Andrea Strachan, pictured at the 2015 Island Games, met with the sports minister to press Shetland athletes' case for travel assistance. Swimmer Andrea Strachan, pictured at the 2015 Island Games, met with the sports minister to press Shetland athletes' case for travel assistance. ISLES MSP Tavish Scott is using a Holyrood debate to call for a “long overdue” travel fund to be created for isles sportspeople.

The Liberal Democrat said he would use a Tuesday afternoon debate in parliament about the Glasgow 2018 Championships, which will be held in August, to ask the government to introduce an islands travel fund to help athletes, swimmers and other competitors from Shetland to compete on the Scottish mainland.

He arranged for Shetland Commonwealth swimmer Andrea Strachan to meet public health and sport minister Aileen Campbell to explain the reality of travel costs in and out of the islands to the government.

“Today’s debate recognises the importance of international sporting competition taking place in Glasgow this summer,” Scott said.

“I want our best sportspeople to have the opportunity to be part of Team Scotland. The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 came alive for Shetland because we had three outstanding athletes in Team Scotland – Andrea Strachan, Lynda Flaws and Erraid Davies.

“They and many like them had the opportunity to compete across Scotland and wider afield which helped their athletic progress.

“But many young Shetlanders are held back by the financial and time commitment that they and their families must make to further their sporting careers. So a sporting travel fund would help with the cost of travel to competitions.

“I know that both Sportscotland and the Shetland Islands Council support this and today I want the sports minister to get on and make this happen.”

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