Examination of Witnesses (Questions 77
TUESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2001
LONSBROUGH, MBE, MS
MBE AND MR
Chairman: Ladies and gentlemen, I should
like to welcome you this morning and say what a particular pleasure
it is to have you here as witnesses today.
77. Anita commentated at and Sharron and Duncan
both swam in the Cumbernauld International Swim Meet in the late
1980s and early 1990s and it was a great pleasure to see you there.
It seems to me that is a very good example of how things have
deteriorated in the sport. The local authority at that time put
a small but significant amount of funding into that opportunity.
The reorganisation of local government and all that has gone with
that has meant that the authorities do not have the will or do
not have the cash to pump prime those kinds of events. You will
not be surprised that I asked Danny McGowan to make a submission
to the Committee because of his involvement in swimming in the
UK. I am going to base my questions on the very report I asked
him to do. Danny, as you know, was both a Scottish and UK coach
and team manager. His first point is that he feels that we have
addressed the issue in UK terms in terms of junior and senior
elite athletes, that the Lottery funding has enabled that area
to be supported in a much better way than it has been in the past.
Would you agree with that?
(Ms Lonsbrough) Yes, particularly with
the starting potential, that is going to help our youngsters coming
through tremendously. Lottery funding has been supporting our
juniors and seniors for some time now and it has enabled them
to get more competition and more training when it is needed and
the right facilities with the top coaches.
78. You feel that the strategy is right there,
that the support is right, the funding is right to deal with what
we need to have in the future, to enable us to get champions like
Sharron and Duncan.
(Ms Lonsbrough) We shall never have enough funding.
79. No, but is that strategy right, that we
have got that bit in place and we now need to look at how we bring
through the younger swimmers?
(Ms Lonsbrough) The starting potential is going to
help that tremendously. Our new national performance director
is very keen to see that we build a very broad pyramid and he
has brought his ideas into focus with the starting potential and
hopefully in a few years to come we shall see that coming through.