The Save Meadowbank Campaign is delighted for Chris Hoy. Clearly his success was no fluke and came on the back of many years of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to his sport. Importantly as well though, as he himself openly admits, he would not have achieved that success without having had access to the Meadowbank Velodrome.
Sports facilities do not all need to be Olympic competition standard. What is required around the country is widespread easy access to fit-for-purpose sports facilities that can cater for the training needs of elite and non-elite sportswomen and men. Some will use these facilities for hobby or fitness training; some, like Chris, will discover a potential for excellence that, if it is to be developed, at some point may require more specialist facilities that may not be available in every town. Chris’s training regime and specialist equipment may well involve rocket science but the logic of what Chris refers to as the need for ‘feeder facilities’ is common sense to all but professional politicians.
Edinburgh Council’s plan to radically downsize Meadowbank and sell off around 40% of the land (including the velodrome) is entirely at odds with common sense. We are delighted that Chris is using his influence to push for grass-roots sports facilities, and we sincerely hope that the politicians take serious heed.