The Power of Sport and Physical Activity since the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

26 June 2024


Earlier this month, some of the  Inspiring Scotland Thrive Outdoors team, alongside partners   hosted a workshop at the Power of Sport and Physical Activity Conference. The conference, held at Easterhouse Community Hub, marked 10 years since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and looked to celebrate the power of sport and physical activity for people to lead happy, healthy lives. 

Our vision is for a sustainable Scotland where our children and young people can play, learn and thrive outdoors. We know the positive impact events such as the Commonwealth Games can have to inspire people to pick up sport or even just get moving more! With big events on the horizon this summer including the Olympics due to start in Paris and the Euros (we don’t want to talk about it either), sport is at the forefront of every social media timeline or office chat. 

We know through our work at Inspiring Scotland improving life chances of children and young people that getting into good habits early is the key to a healthier life. That’s what our Thrive Outdoors fund is all about!  

The importance of Active Play  

Active Play is a partnership between Thrive Outdoors and Actifty. In collaboration, we designed an evidence-based programme that effectively helps children be more physically active. It supports children’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Research has shown that children who are physically active are more likely to have a healthier lifestyle and learn better, as they grow older. Designed to be fun, inclusive and active, Active Play is a straightforward and inexpensive programme to implement. It contributes directly to the Curriculum for Excellence’s health and wellbeing outcomes, Scotland’s Mental Health Strategy, Health Improvement goals and the Active Scotland Framework. The programme lasts 15 weeks, combining semi-structured games and unstructured free play, delivered outdoors by local play specialists. 

Active Play develops children’s fundamental movement skills including running, jumping, throwing and catching as well as their physical literacy by building their competence, confidence and motivation through playing more and being more physically active. 

Solutions for a happy, healthy, life  

As levels of physical inactivity increase in areas of deprivation across Scotland, its increasingly important that children have a positive experience with sport and physical activity. Having a positive experience and active role models, such as our play rangers, supports children to grow up with a positive attitude towards physical activity and healthy habits that last a lifetime. With the fundamental movement skills gained during Active Play, children are prepared to perform better at any sport due stronger balance, coordination, and locomotor skills.   

The conference brough together colleagues from across the sport and physical activity sector in Scotland, and provided a chance to inform the sector on the value that play can bring to sport and physical activity. We hope that many more children get excited and inspired by the upcoming summer of sport and look forward to continuing this work with our delivery partners.  


Julia Abel 

Director of Funds  


The conference was organised in partnership between Spirit of 2012, Inspiring Scotland, Actify, Basketball Scotland, Evaluation Support Scotland, Scottish Sports Futures, and University of the West of Scotland.