Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sporting activity

Despite not being the most sporting person in the Western Isles, I thought it may be interesting to judge public opinion on the opening of the Sports Centre on a Sunday.

This was suggested by Reiver, and it was THE issue on which I received most correspondence whilst I was a Councillor. Yes, even more than windfarms! Votes and views welcome.

For the record, I will vote "Yes, only if the staff want to work".


Anonymous said...

I'm for openning the sports centre, There may well be people who woudn't wish to work on sunday but this could also be an opportunity to employ others who would wish to learn new skills and may not have the opportunity to work conventional hours. Sports Staff are already working in other parts of the Western Isles.
It would be interesting to hear the views of sportscotland on why projects that have recieved millions of public funding are closed for 50% of the potentially busiest period.

Anonymous said...

Today, elsewhere in the UK, we have:
- the British Grand Prix
- the mens singles final at Wimbledon
- the Tour de France(!)

Major sporting Sunday. I met a group of 20 somethings from Lewis who were off to the British Grand Prix, and hope they had a good time. Dunno what they would have done today if they hadn't gone.

Here in the Outer Hebrides, nothing. This is wrong, because:

1. We are supposed to be getting fitter, healthier, fighting the flab etc, individually and as a nation. But the sports facilities lie closed, on one of the 2 days per week when mon-fri workers have an opportunity to attend.

2. Our taxes went to pay for facilities that are closed for one seventh of the time. So wrong.

3. If/when they are opened on a Sunday, there is no compulsion to use the facilities. If you don't want to use them for whatever reasons, that's your business. Same as it's the business of people who want to use them. It is morally and ethically wrong that the personal preference of a minority of people should restrict the health and fitness opportunities to others.

4. Prevention is better than cure. No-one wants to die earlier, and if you keep a careful look at the obituaries column, it isn't just old people who die here; there's an alarming number of people a long time from retirement age. Health board here overspending. Aid prevention, get the places open.

5. In the 70s and 80s Finland had an atrocious record for heart disease, worse than Scotland. They began an aggressive information and facility campaign to change this and it worked. Which is why I found myself panting away in a gym in Lapland one sunday last April, then swimming in a rather cold pool.

6. It rains here a lot. Options are limited on a Sunday for resident and tourist. Even an increasing number of the latter prefer to keep fit on a Sunday. Open the place, raise extra income from the tourist trade.

Preferable option: open 7 days per week; extend evening openings; build more sports facilities the length of the islands; encourage sporting and fitness culture across the islands. And as Reiver points out, what sporting culture there is is very heavily football-centric - encourage other sporting activities.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, lets pick a date, say Sunday 12th August, hopefully people will be back from Holiday by then, And see how many people we can get to turn up at the Sports Centre at 12.00 as a way of protest against the sports centre being closed.

Anonymous said...

We pay £58 per month as a couple for membership. We both work full-time and have a young family. The children love soft play and swimming and we enjoy going to the gym and swimming but with work commitments and childcare shortages on the island, the weekends are pretty much the only option for visiting the sports centre. I feel cheated that I do not have this choice on Saturday and Sunday when paying such high prices.
I understand that this is a council owned and run facility but it should have been funded on behalf of a private organisation that runs it for the benefit of its' customers and in line with their demands. I am sure that if it closed for one day during the week and opened all weekends, they would see an upturn in visitors. I couldn't believe that the place even closes on some council public holidays when people are off work and would use the facility more.
They also need to put more effort into renting the halls out for classes for both young and old alike. It really isn't utilised as well as it could be.

Anonymous said...

Recently moved to Lewis from West Lothian, where we were members of Xcite, the local authority sport membership scheme. For £48 a month, we were able to access swimming and gym facilities and a municipal golf course. The various centres were open on a Sunday and there was nothing better than going for a swim on a Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Normally the place was pretty busy with parents and young children at that time too. Generally, when it was a public holiday, the various centres were open and available for use, which was pretty handy.

It's a real shame that the Sports centre in Lewis isn't open on a Sunday. I can understand that not everyone would use the facility, and not everyone would want to work but surely it's worth having a pilot to see if it would be successful?

Silversprite and Reiver both express valid points.

Anonymous said...

i really wish there was one which said yes but only if it is profitable AND the staff want to work! (sorry to be a pedant)

Anonymous said...


Can you give any indication of how much correspondance you received, and the proportion for and against.

Also, do you think the correspondance (on both sides of the argument) was totally individual, or where there letter-writing campaigns?

Angus said...

I received precisely 18 letters all opposed to the opening of the Sports Centre on Sundays, and 1 in favour. The eighteen were all - as far as I can tell - active members of the Free Church of Scotland, and I understand that there was a deliberate campaign by the Church to oppose the opening.

All 18 were constituents and the 1 in support was not.

I received fewer that a dozen letters about windfarms, but loads of emails.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think that the sports centres and stuff should be open on a sunday - as well as public holidays

Anonymous said...

I agree with the people who said yes the command is "thou shalt do no work" - this is why it is important to say that their should be a get out clause for those who don't want to (thats the "thou") and I don't see why someone should not have fun on Sunday - I always do. It is surprising to see how many people have turned the command into "thou shalt not allow ANYONE else to work or spend money" I am aware that the command does apply to others - but only those under your control - as far as I am aware this command was never enforced on any of the outsiders (gentile's)