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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 17:19 GMT
Games lessons 'must be learned'
Meadowbank Stadium
The council is currently reviewing its decision to sell Meadowbank
Campaigners have called on Glasgow to learn from Edinburgh's "mistake" by leaving a lasting legacy of facilities after the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Scotland's capital had two only facilities - Meadowbank Stadium and the Royal Commonwealth Pool - built for the 1970 games.

Both were used again to host the games for a second time in 1986.

But the council is considering selling off Meadowbank, and faces a massive bill to upgrade the pool before 2014.

Bill Walker, a successful athletics coach who is now a spokesman for the Save Meadowbank campaign, said it was vital that training facilities across Scotland were built and maintained if the country was to enjoy games success.

'National funding'

He added: "We welcome the decision to award the games to Scotland and see this as a chance to leave a sporting legacy for use by future generations.

"Edinburgh promised precisely that to its citizens when it built venues for the 1970 games but now we face losing one of our main venues after just four decades."

Mr Walker, who once coached Olympic gold-medallist Allan Wells, added: "Success in these games and others will only come if current and future athletes have access to training facilities such as Meadowbank. I hope it is now obvious that Meadowbank needs to be refurbished, not sold off.

"As regards upgrading the Royal Commonwealth Pool to host the diving in the 2014 games, there can be no question of local council tax payers footing the bill. Clearly a national facility demands national funding."

With adequate training facilities there is no reason why Scotland can't punch well above its weight
Kevin Connor

Fellow-campaigner Kevin Connor said: "The SNP government says it wants a Scotland Olympics team. Their number one priority then should be ensuring that proper training facilities are available throughout Scotland.

"If the SNP are serious, they need to help fund facilities such as Meadowbank, and make sure that councils like Edinburgh are not allowed to run them down and attempt to sell them off. That's common sense.

"If Edinburgh Council is determined to sell off all or part of Meadowbank to housing developers, their profits will come at the expense of Scotland's chances of producing competitive athletes.

"With adequate training facilities, however, there is no reason why Scotland can't punch well above its weight."

Edinburgh City Council is currently reviewing its decision to sell Meadowbank to make way for housing and is expected to make a decision when it meets on 22 November.

SEE ALSO
Funding 'inadequate' for sports
17 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
New stadium 'dead in the water'
12 Jun 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
'Mistakes made' over Meadowbank
30 Mar 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Edinburgh stadium closure meeting
12 Mar 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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