Lion-hearted spirit set to inspire sporting communities

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THE success of the last victorious British and Irish Lions rugby teams’ will be used by keynote speaker Jim Telfer at the Community Sport Summit on Sunday (November 25) to inspire Borders communities to come together and create a new vision for sport in the region.

Over 150 representatives from sports clubs and bodies throughout the Borders are expected to attend the Summit which is being organised by Borders Sport and Leisure in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and sportscotland as a platform for the launch of the Borders Community Sports Hubs.

The Community Sports Hub initiative supports the Scottish Government’s 2014 legacy plan and aims to provide a focal point to bring local sports clubs and people together to share resources and expertise and make it easier for more people to engage in active and health lifestyles.

Alongside sportscotland chief executive, Stewart Harris, former Lions player and coach Jim Telfer, will make a keynote address to the delegates on how he brought four nations together to create one vision, and how that is relevant to the Borders’ new drive to create a stronger sporting landscape.

Telfer played for and captained the Lions in tours to New Zealand and South Africa in the 1960s and returned as head coach of the 1983 New Zealand tour. After leading Scotland to Grand Slams in 1983 and 1990, he worked again as assistant to Ian McGeechan to mastermind the 1997 Lions series defeat of South Africa - the Lions’ last success.

The born and bred Borderer has also coached schools, youth and club teams.

Telfer said: “Sport and leisure has always been a huge part of life in the Borders and it is integral to the future wellbeing of our communities. There are great people working very hard across sports and leisure pursuits, in schools, clubs and different organisations, but we need good facilities, more opportunities and more strategic thinking if we are to move forward”.

“It is great to see BSLT, SBC and sportscotland working together to take a grip of it, and provide some real direction and support. I am hopeful that the Summit will be a great launchpad for the new Hubs’ and would urge everyone interested in sport and leisure in the Borders to make sure they are represented at this event.”

Vicky Davidson, executive member for culture, sport and community learning at SBC said: “The Community Sports Hubs concept is about working together and using joint planning to bring even more people into sport in the Borders. It has the potential to bring new opportunities for all those involved in sport in the Borders and Scottish Borders Council will be working with sportscotland and Borders Sport and Leisure, to help to build strong partnerships through the new Hubs.”

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure said: “Every sports club and organisation in the Borders is welcome to attend the Summit. We have set aside few extra places so it is still not too late for anyone who would like to come along to contact us and secure a seat.”

A number of hubs across the Borders will be officially launched at the Summit and the day will include workshops on driving these forward in addition to an invitation for all those in attendance to sign a specially produced banner, pledging their commitment to the initiative.

The Community Sport Summit will be held on Sunday from 9.30am-3pm, at the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels.