We are already enjoying a sensational summer of sport and it has only just begun!
The success started with local boxing star Josh Taylor being crowned undisputed world champion, a feat his home town celebrated in style last week with a wonderful open-top bus parade.
Following Josh’s historic achievement, which has also seen him awarded the Freedom of East Lothian, the whole nation watched Scotland’s men’s football team play their first tournament matches in 23 years at the Euros. While they did not make it to the knockout stages, their performance provided hope that there will not be such a long wait for the next appearance at a major tournament.
Back in East Lothian, we have seen Dunbar’s Maria Lyle winning her seventh European title and being confirmed as a member of the GB Paralympics team for Tokyo, where she will seek to emulate her medal success at Rio five years ago, all at the age of just 21.
And, today (8th July), the Scottish Open gets underway in North Berwick, bringing some of golf’s biggest stars to the county.
However, as exciting and welcome as they are, sport is about much more than these elite events and achievements. It is about grassroots participation and physical and mental health and wellbeing.
That was exemplified by Preston Lodge’s recent fantastic victory in the Scottish Schools’ Football Association’s under-15 Shield.
East Lothian’s sports infrastructure and facilities are widely regarded as among the best in Scotland, but there is always room for further improvement. During the election I joined fellow candidates in pledging to be a Scottish sporting champion in Parliament and in local communities.
I aim to honour that pledge by supporting local clubs and participants especially with their recovery from the closures and restrictions that have hit sport and physical activity so hard during the pandemic. Please get in touch with me about any local issues that need to be addressed.