Liz McColgan Tells a Few Home Truths
How refreshing but sad to hear the truth about the legacy of the Olympics for Scotland.
It’s not really all it’s being made out to be, this Olympic legacy.
Legacy, legacy, legacy, we’re all in it together or is it in it to win it?
After all the hype, I too was starting to believe that if I trained hard enough I could join the medal winners in Rio de Janeiro.
I’ve more chance of joining the Carnival and I’ve training for that for some time now.
But speaking at the Festival of Politics in Edinburgh, Liz McColgan, a former world athletics champion isn’t toeing the Olympic Committee’s party line. Instead, she is pointing out the honest home truth for Scotland.
The 48-year-old from Dundee spoke out about the facilities saying that they hadn’t improved since she was a runner, more than three decades ago.
She said: “I still coach kids who are paying £3 to get into a track that has very bad lighting. I can’t see them in the winter time. There’s only one toilet. There’s no drinks available.
“It’s quite sad that we’ve had so much success at the Olympics, and we’ve got 112 kids who all want to be like Mo Farah.”
Sadly, Liz McColgan goes on to say: “We are probably going to let down a lot kids who are so enthused from the success that we had. Kids nowadays have got a great access to television. I didn’t have that in my day. They see it and they want it.
“I feel the Government and the associations have let us down because we are not prepared to deal with all these kids that want to be the next Chris Hoy or Kat Grainger.”
Hearing this on the radio driving home was a bit depressing on a miserable Scottish night, when kids don’t want to train in such windy conditions. That said, my ears did prick up to hear a Scottish Athletic speak out for the local children in her area and the wider Scottish community.
If we are to compete and give young athletes a chance at sport, investment shouldn’t just be a word to throw around and talk of legacy, a pretty word which rolls off the tongue.
Liz’s experiences are a harrowing insight into the home truth for the future of Scottish athletics.