The Medal Myth BBC Scotland Investigates


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The Medal Myth

Documentary in which John Beattie looks at why the nation's elite sporting success has not translated into a healthier population.


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It's been like a beautiful dream.

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A world number one, a golden summer at Rio.

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It is a golden start for Great Britain.

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And all off the back of the Glasgow games -

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sunshine, medals, success.

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I'm John Beattie, and I've been as swept away

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by our athletes' success as anyone.

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But there's always been something bothering me.

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We were told that all these medals would make us more sporty,

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more healthy, and more active.

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The Commonwealth Games would inspire Scots young and old to participate

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in sport, improve their health and life chances.

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The potential of the games is enormous.

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The potential to get more people taking part in physical activity...

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Gold to Heather Miley.

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She had a whole bunch of people in this stadium behind her.

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-DAVID CAMERON:

-If other people's children are anything like mine,

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they are dreaming of being Bradley Wiggins or Jess Ennis

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or Dave Weir or Jonnie Peacock.

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They're begging their parents to set up mini Olympics.

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But has our elite success translated into a healthier population?

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I've been meeting elite athletes, experts and ordinary folk.

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And it's time to hear the truth

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about exactly what our golden summers have really achieved.

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So has there ever been a games where there's been a health benefit

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afterwards, anywhere in the world?

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-No.

-No? Not at all?

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No.

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So, watching Andy Murray, you haven't thought,

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"Right, I must go and play tennis."

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Well, I've tried it, but it doesn't work much.

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Why doesn't it work?

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Because I'm not good at hitting the ball.

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Someone who is fairly inactive, watching sport,

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it's not going to be a lightbulb moment

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where they automatically think,

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"Right, I'm going to change my life, I'm going to become an athlete,

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"I'm inspired by this performance."

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I want to investigate whether there's a link

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between elite performance and our wider health.

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So join me in the sandpit while I run a few numbers.

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Well, we all remember what it was like.

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We saw in the Commonwealth Games and in the Olympics

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a massive increase in

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the number of medals.

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Now I'm drawing out the numbers for how many Scots meet

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the minimum recommended levels of activity.

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That's a measure that includes walking, cycling and housework,

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not just sport.

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These numbers hardly vary.

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In 2012 they changed

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the target for adults.

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But what we're looking at

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are flat lines.

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So can sport really be inspiring us all?

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This is a big day for Scottish sport -

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the launch of Oriam.

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It's our new performance centre,

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and it cost £33 million of public money.

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And where sporting success is to be celebrated,

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politicians are never far behind.

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After all, everyone wants a little of the gold dust

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from our elite success.

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It's an incredible facility.

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And look who's here - the First Minister,

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MSPs, heads of the council,

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people in charge of governing bodies.

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And what you can say is, everybody wants a little piece of elite sport.

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So is the idea that elite sport inspires us all

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one that's promoted by our current First Minister?

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THEY CHEER

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I think we've got to work to make sure that link is there,

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but I don't think there's any doubt that the inspiration

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that our top sportsmen and women provide for us,

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the excitement and pride that they instil in us,

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helps to encourage people to become more active.

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But fundamentally the numbers of medals have gone up

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and sporting activity has completely flatlined,

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so there is no link, is there?

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Well, I tend to be a kind of glass half full person.

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I think it's great that our medal tally is going up.

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I think that's something we should be proud of.

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I think it's something that we should celebrate,

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that we've got probably the best facilities for sport in Scotland

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now than we've ever had.

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And instead of saying,

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"Well, participation has not gone up yet, so it's not worth doing,"

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we should say, "Well, we've got all these facilities,

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"we've got that success, let's redouble our efforts to make sure

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"the benefits of that permeate through society as a whole."

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So the higher up you go, the more that treadmill,

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-the quicker it'll move.

-Right.

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And then eventually when you get comfortable you can sort of let go.

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I think I might not let go, with the cameras on me!

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So the First Minister is hanging onto the idea

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that medals inspire us all to do more.

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And I can see why.

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It's a very powerful idea.

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Everyone in there is caught up with the view that elite sport,

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which is exciting, enthralling and enticing,

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is also the thing that makes you and me want to be sporty,

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active, and healthy.

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I'd like that to be true.

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But not everything you wish for is true.

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'In the spirit of being more active,

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'I'm taking a walk in the glorious Scottish countryside.

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'I'm also hoping to find out whether that link

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'between elite sport and our health is real.

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'So I've brought Professor Leigh Robinson with me.'

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Is there any evidence that if we win medals, say, at a games abroad,

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or host an event, that that makes the rest of us healthy?

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No, no evidence at all.

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But it's such a persuasive argument.

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It is because we like the idea that if we win a medal,

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other people will rush out and take part in physical activity,

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but that just doesn't happen.

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So has there ever been a games where there's been a health benefit

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afterwards, anywhere in the world?

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-No.

-No? Not at all?

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No.

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Professor Robinson says you can prove

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big events bring infrastructure benefits,

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even that medals make us feel better,

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but not that they make us healthier.

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Politicians and people who are trying to promote elite sport

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need to stop with that argument.

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Whether we, the public,

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are overly concerned about that argument,

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whether we like the fact that we win medals, that we are world champions,

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that we go away to events and are very successful,

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that may just be enough for us.

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-COMMENTATOR:

-The whole crowd on their feet,

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the roof pretty much lifting off.

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Can Robbie Renwick get a medal here?

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Australia win the gold medal in the men's four by 200 freestyle relay,

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Scotland a wonderful silver medal...

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Some of our best recent successes have come in the pool.

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Swimmers like Robbie Renwick and Michael Jamieson have won medals

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at Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

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'They joined me for a dip at

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'Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth pool.'

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This is a different planet.

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It's like watching two dolphins

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who've spent all their lives

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perfecting what you see - this incredible smoothness.

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It's amazing seeing it up close, it's amazing.

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'This technique is the result of 20 years of work.

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'But what got the lads into the pool wasn't watching

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'elite swimmers perform.'

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For me, getting into the sport was part of the fun of learning to swim

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and having all your friends around you.

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You know, when I grew up, as a kid, learning to play football,

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playing basketball, cross-country running, swimming,

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it was just about being active.

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Like, general activity was the real passion for me at a young age,

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and trying to learn all these new skills.

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'So even for elite performers, the starting point

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'was swimming for fun, not glory.'

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When you're in the pool, competing, in your head,

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do you believe that there are lots of inactive children thinking,

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"Right, I want to swim"?

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Do you inspire them?

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Someone who's fairly inactive, who lives a fairly sedentary lifestyle

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is at home watching sport,

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I don't think that's really going to,

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it's not going to be a lightbulb moment, where they automatically

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think, "Right, I'm going to change my life,

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"I'm going to become an athlete, I'm inspired by this performance."

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I do feel like there are a lot of kids that would

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certainly probably not take up sport

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when they probably could, they would rather stay inside,

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play video games, that's the way it seems to be heading right now.

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Physical activity really matters to all of us.

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A stunning two thirds of Scottish adults are overweight.

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Being more active could make a big difference,

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but what does that mean?

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Physical activity is really emerging as a major focus in public health.

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Diabetes, stroke, mental health disorders, cancer,

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all of these, if you are physically active,

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all the incidences of these diseases may be decreased in the long-term.

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The government target is for all of us to achieve

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150 minutes of moderate activity a week.

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That means anything that gets your heart rate up -

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walking, or even gardening.

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So we're asking Edinburgh commuters to tell us whether they measure up.

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I'm hoping to do a half-marathon this morning.

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-I normally do...

-This morning?

-Yes.

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I normally do two a week.

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-So you cycle every day?

-Yeah, yeah.

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-How far do you cycle?

-About half an hour, something like that.

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-Half an hour each way?

-Yeah.

-So that'd be what?

-420.

-420...

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-We're off the scale.

-..in terms of activity.

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Well done. Fantastic.

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Walk the dog five and a half miles,

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and I swim 60 lengths every morning in the pool.

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-Wow.

-And I'm fat.

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-You're not fat.

-No, no, I'm getting there. I'm working on it.

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I decided I was getting too heavy,

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so I decided exercise was key.

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It's been shown that people who do regular physical activity may live,

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on average, seven years longer

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than people that don't regularly exercise.

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So, genuinely, he's just lengthened his life by seven years by...

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-Yeah.

-..becoming active.

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You're one of the healthiest people we've spoken to all day.

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That's a worry, yeah.

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-JOHN LAUGHS Well done.

-All right, thank you.

-Thank you.

-Cheers, guys.

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We spoke to a fair few commuters,

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but the ones that agreed to stop and chat

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were largely those who were already doing what they needed to.

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But we know a significant minority of Scots aren't.

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Where are we, then?

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Because we have this plateau in activity levels

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and we seem to be talking to people who already know the message.

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What's happening?

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Well, I think the venue we're at today,

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people are on their way to work and they're all motivated

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and they're walking and cycling.

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And some of those people do know the guidelines, but we need to

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get out to people that don't know the guidelines

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and who are much less physically active.

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A freezing evening in Kilmarnock.

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I've come to meet a family who know they're not active enough.

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The Bias family are heading out to take part in a class

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designed for those whose health is at risk from their inactivity.

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Rachel and Chloe are twins.

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And they're both here because their school and their mum are worried

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that they were seeing health problems because of their weight.

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Can I ask you, were you ever worried about their weight?

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A little bit. Yeah.

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The doctors and everything, they're always saying about their size

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and obesity and all that. I never put that down to them,

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but we were trying to bring the weight down a wee bit.

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I sat down with the family over a healthy tea.

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And I wanted to know what it was that was stopping them being

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as healthy as they wanted to be.

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Phones and tablets, computers.

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Electronics.

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The weather, cos sometimes even getting them outside...

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They've got a trampoline out there

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but getting them out on it sometimes is difficult in itself.

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And sometimes money, for the sake of their classes.

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A lot of them are quite expensive in the area,

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but we're getting a few en-route now that it's not too bad.

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Because it's difficult to be active, isn't it?

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-It's difficult to be sporty.

-Yep.

-You've got to go and do stuff.

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You've got to get up. It's tough, isn't it?

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Especially when it's wet.

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Ah. Well, yeah, exactly.

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'And medals are unlikely to inspire these girls,

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'because they don't watch much sport.'

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You don't watch any sport on television unless it's football

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-with your dad?

-Yeah.

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-And that's it?

-Yeah.

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-So you don't watch...?

-Unless...

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Unless Andy Murray's on.

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And do you play tennis?

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-No.

-No.

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So watching Andy Murray, you haven't thought,

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"Right, I must go and play tennis?"

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Well, I've tried it but it doesn't work much.

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Why does it not work?

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Because I'm not good at hitting the ball.

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Well, neither am I. But you wouldn't try to be like Andy Murray, then?

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You tried it once.

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But you've tried it and it's difficult?

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-Very.

-Very difficult.

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Wow.

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For the girls,

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life just seems to get in the way, and sport seems hard.

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But Dawn isn't giving up.

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As well as the special classes to help the family get healthier,

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they attend the local Active Schools programme.

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That's another exercise class out-of-school hours.

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I was thinking that, you know,

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what you really want for young girls is to be out and about, skipping...

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-Ideally.

-..with their pals.

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-Yes.

-But you're driving them everywhere.

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-Everything's a programme.

-Yeah.

-You're in the car every night.

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-Yep.

-When you were a girl...

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I'd just nip out the front door and go and run.

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-And play.

-Yep.

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Yeah. Aye, it's not as easy any more.

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-Why not?

-I have no idea.

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So everything now is you jump in the car,

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take them to...

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It's down to Mum and Dad's taxi, as they call it, usually,

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to get them to where they've to go.

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-To do a programme.

-Yes.

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To follow someone else's structure.

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They don't get out and just play.

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It's a shame.

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Go on!

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Good. Well done.

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I feel quite sad about this.

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I mean, Chloe and Rachel, fantastic kids,

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Dawn's a wonderful mum,

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but all the things that were available for me as a kid,

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just playing in the street, they don't seem to be available.

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Everything now is, jump in a car, go to a programme 15-20 minutes away.

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It's just a completely different world.

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Three, two, one, go!

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These Active Schools sessions -

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sport and activity outside of normal PE lessons -

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are the core of the Scottish Government's approach

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to getting children active.

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Well done. Keep going.

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Last year almost 300,000 children took part in one.

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If I'm to understand what does and doesn't work,

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I need to know more about them.

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Yeah, well done!

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This team just finished. Well done.

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This is an Active Schools dance class in Kingussie.

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Every school in Scotland has a programme like this,

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promoting exercise outside of normal PE.

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It's obvious that these kids are having a ball.

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Primary children are involved, too.

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But I can't help noticing that the children I'm seeing

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seem a pretty sporty bunch.

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We know more children than ever are doing these classes,

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but we don't know whether any of them were previously kids

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who didn't meet the government's healthy activity guidelines.

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They're giving more kids more chances,

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to take part in these Active Schools programmes,

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their numbers are going up.

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But nobody can show me the number that tells me that these kinds of

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interventions take kids from being inactive to active.

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Well over £200 million is being spent

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on Active Schools over 15 years.

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But there's potentially a basic problem -

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that sports classes might just benefit sporty kids.

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Sportscotland runs the Active Schools programme.

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They're understandably proud more children than ever before are taking part in it.

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Why don't they know if we're reaching the kids in danger,

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the ones who aren't meeting the healthy activity guidelines?

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They don't walk up and tell us that they're inactive.

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What we see are people who are willing and want to engage.

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So we will help them to engage in the sport,

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in their own community, and I think that's important.

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I'm confused a wee bit.

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Why are we not measuring, as the national sports agency,

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the efficacy of our programmes

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that are supposed to be bringing people from inactive to active?

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Why don't we measure that?

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That's one of the measures.

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But for me, all we can really do at that local level

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is work with the people that are there.

0:17:340:17:36

So we have a baseline for every school,

0:17:360:17:38

for every community sport hub,

0:17:380:17:41

and then we look at the progress from there on in.

0:17:410:17:43

So the measures are very clear from our perspective.

0:17:430:17:46

-They're not clear.

-They are clear.

0:17:460:17:48

The measure might be clear as to who's doing the programmes,

0:17:480:17:50

but not as to whether they've been effective in changing people's behaviours. Not clear.

0:17:500:17:54

-To me it's not clear. Is it clear to you?

-It's clear to me.

0:17:540:17:56

When you look into it,

0:18:010:18:02

some of the numbers around elite sport spending are enormous.

0:18:020:18:06

In the last four years UK Sport has spent £350 million

0:18:070:18:11

on Olympic sports alone.

0:18:110:18:15

Sportscotland is in the middle of a spending cycle which will see it

0:18:150:18:19

spend £45 million on performance sport over four years.

0:18:190:18:24

And we wanted to know who benefits from this elite funding.

0:18:280:18:31

There's long been a suspicion that those on these programmes

0:18:310:18:35

are disproportionately from better off backgrounds.

0:18:350:18:39

But we asked Sportscotland for a demographic breakdown

0:18:390:18:42

of their elite performance athletes,

0:18:420:18:45

and they said they didn't have one.

0:18:450:18:48

So we decided to try and find out a bit more for ourselves.

0:18:480:18:52

That meant doing some maths.

0:18:530:18:55

We used publicly available information to work out

0:18:550:18:58

where they went to school.

0:18:580:19:00

We found data for over 70% of the over 500 athletes.

0:19:000:19:04

We decided to look at what kind of school it was.

0:19:040:19:08

Was it a private school?

0:19:080:19:09

And if it was a state school, was it one that served better off children?

0:19:090:19:14

We used free school meal entitlement to measure that.

0:19:140:19:17

Over 20% went to a fee-paying school

0:19:170:19:21

and almost 70% went to one of the best off 20% of state schools.

0:19:210:19:28

Those two groups represented almost 90% of the performance athletes.

0:19:280:19:33

It looks like elite sport IS for elites

0:19:330:19:36

when it comes to wealth as well as talent.

0:19:360:19:39

We've picked certain sports which are cycling, which are expensive.

0:19:410:19:44

-Yeah, rowing.

-Rowing.

-Sailing.

0:19:440:19:45

-Sailing.

-Equestrian. Rugby.

-Rugby.

0:19:450:19:48

They're private school sports, aren't they?

0:19:480:19:50

-Yes, they are. Yeah.

-What would you say, Leigh,

0:19:500:19:51

to the argument that if there is public money involved it should be

0:19:510:19:54

challenging the system of privilege

0:19:540:19:58

rather than buttressing it?

0:19:580:20:00

I don't think that there's any argument about that.

0:20:000:20:03

I think anything that comes from the public purse should have

0:20:030:20:05

generally wide public merit good,

0:20:050:20:09

and I'm not convinced that elite sport does that.

0:20:090:20:12

I'm not entirely sure that elite sport

0:20:120:20:13

is something that's accessible to the public in general

0:20:130:20:17

or indeed leads to benefits that are available to the public in general.

0:20:170:20:22

-Just privileged people.

-Yeah.

0:20:220:20:25

We're working to try and get - in every sport -

0:20:250:20:28

a pathway which goes from school to community to performance,

0:20:280:20:32

if they have the talent and ambition, if they want to go there.

0:20:320:20:34

But do you think it's fair that we appear to be

0:20:340:20:36

spending money on, for want of a better word, more privileged kids?

0:20:360:20:41

Well, I think actually the spend and the resource

0:20:410:20:43

is actually in a pretty good place right now.

0:20:430:20:46

95% of the sport budget in Scotland is spent on school and community.

0:20:460:20:50

5% is spent on performance.

0:20:500:20:52

So I think the balance of it,

0:20:520:20:54

if you take the system, then I think we have,

0:20:540:20:57

as a society in Scotland, with the resources we have available,

0:20:570:21:00

we're in a good place with that.

0:21:000:21:02

Who's going to claim the gold medal here in Rio?

0:21:020:21:04

Up towards the line.

0:21:040:21:06

And the gold medal goes to Great Britain!

0:21:060:21:08

The Olympic champions again.

0:21:080:21:11

One of our great young athletes, Callum Skinner, winning gold in Rio.

0:21:110:21:15

He's a professional, and competition is a serious business.

0:21:150:21:19

But today we're having a bit of fun

0:21:290:21:31

on some unusual bikes.

0:21:310:21:33

The interesting thing is that cycling's fun...

0:21:330:21:35

-Yeah.

-..but you compete at it.

0:21:350:21:37

Yeah. That's the thing, it kind of turned from a hobby into a career,

0:21:370:21:41

more or less.

0:21:410:21:42

And I'm extremely fortunate for that

0:21:420:21:43

because I do something I love every day. It's the best job ever.

0:21:430:21:46

-Do you still enjoy jumping on a bike?

-Yeah.

0:21:460:21:47

I don't think you'd continue to do it unless you enjoyed it.

0:21:470:21:51

Callum wants kids to be able to experience the fun of cycling, too.

0:21:520:21:57

But he's worried about whether that's really possible for most of them.

0:21:570:22:01

I'd say, speaking from my own experience,

0:22:010:22:03

I was inspired by seeing Chris Hoy having successes

0:22:030:22:06

at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games and things like that.

0:22:060:22:08

But I think the most important thing is

0:22:080:22:10

that if there is an element of inspiration

0:22:100:22:12

we need to capitalise on it as much as possible.

0:22:120:22:15

And one of the ways we can do that is with facilities

0:22:150:22:17

and more infrastructure.

0:22:170:22:18

I find it difficult to say to an eight-year-old child or something,

0:22:180:22:21

"Go out on your road bike, because it will all be fine,"

0:22:210:22:24

cos the harsh fact is that unless you're on a cycle path or a

0:22:240:22:27

segregated lane, it's not safe for a child to go out there on a road bike.

0:22:270:22:31

What it is safe for them to do is to go out on a closed facility,

0:22:310:22:34

but obviously, not everyone lives close to a closed facility,

0:22:340:22:37

whether that is a mountain bike, track or something similar.

0:22:370:22:41

So, you know, that's the thing.

0:22:410:22:43

I'm sure there is an element of inspiration out there,

0:22:430:22:45

but the thing we need to do is capitalise on it as much as possible

0:22:450:22:47

with infrastructure, with facilities.

0:22:470:22:50

What Callum is talking about is the key to the whole issue of activity.

0:22:500:22:54

How do you make getting moving easy and safe as part of everyday life?

0:22:540:22:59

That's what Professor Nanette Mutrie has spent her working life studying.

0:23:010:23:05

She's advised the Scottish Government.

0:23:050:23:08

I met up with her at Hampden,

0:23:080:23:09

where she'd been addressing a conference on physical activity.

0:23:090:23:13

The issue is that for adults,

0:23:140:23:16

it is quite a small percentage of

0:23:160:23:17

our population that get their activity from sport.

0:23:170:23:21

A much bigger percentage of our population get their activity

0:23:210:23:25

from walking or exercising

0:23:250:23:27

and incidental everyday activity,

0:23:270:23:29

which is the message we try to promote,

0:23:290:23:31

because you don't need facilities, you don't need skill,

0:23:310:23:34

you can just fit it into your lifestyle, and that's

0:23:340:23:36

the way I think we'll increase the population's level of activity.

0:23:360:23:41

So we need to go where people are, where it's easy for them to start,

0:23:410:23:44

and I would always say that is walking and active commuting.

0:23:440:23:47

Could it be this simple?

0:23:520:23:54

That walking could be the solution to our problem?

0:23:540:23:57

I've come for a walk here in Motherwell

0:23:590:24:01

with a group that's been going out once a week for ten years.

0:24:010:24:05

It's made a huge difference to all their lives.

0:24:050:24:09

I really love walking. I enjoy it very much.

0:24:090:24:11

It sort of helps you to get things into perspective, doesn't it?

0:24:110:24:14

You reflect as you walk, and the company's great as well.

0:24:140:24:17

You were telling me you are how old?

0:24:170:24:19

I'll be 84 next month.

0:24:190:24:21

And walking is what?

0:24:210:24:22

It's part of keeping me fit.

0:24:220:24:24

I look after my wife, she's 88,

0:24:240:24:26

so I've got to be able to look after her,

0:24:260:24:29

so that's part of the reason why I do it.

0:24:290:24:31

Just keep going.

0:24:310:24:32

You are. You're 84!

0:24:320:24:34

You just did exercise and walked a bit and now you're 84

0:24:340:24:37

and you look younger than me!

0:24:370:24:38

No, no!

0:24:380:24:39

More Scots are walking than ever before.

0:24:440:24:46

This year, the Scottish Government is spending £1.4 million

0:24:480:24:51

promoting groups like this.

0:24:510:24:53

And finally, I've found an organisation

0:24:550:24:57

that asks participants whether they meet the healthy activity guidelines

0:24:570:25:01

before they start the programme.

0:25:010:25:03

Roughly a third reported to not meeting the physical activity guidelines.

0:25:040:25:09

We then do a six-month follow-up

0:25:090:25:11

and in that six-month follow-up,

0:25:110:25:13

approximately three quarters, 71%,

0:25:130:25:17

of those that reported to being inactive

0:25:170:25:20

are now reporting to being active.

0:25:200:25:23

So they've moved from a position of not meeting

0:25:230:25:26

the physical activity guidelines to meeting the guidelines.

0:25:260:25:29

It's so simple and so natural.

0:25:340:25:37

It's very different to the intensity of elite sport.

0:25:370:25:40

It almost seems like cheating.

0:25:420:25:44

The Chief Medical Officer has been a record as saying

0:25:440:25:47

that walking is a wonder drug or a miracle cure.

0:25:470:25:50

And when you walk you don't really think you're exercising, do you?

0:25:500:25:53

No, and that is the beauty of walking.

0:25:530:25:56

It is physical exercise,

0:25:560:25:58

physical activity through the back door.

0:25:580:26:00

This programme is relatively cheap and can show it works.

0:26:050:26:08

It makes me wonder if we've got the balance right between investing in

0:26:110:26:15

medals and less glamorous initiatives like this.

0:26:150:26:18

Politically, people have wanted to have medals.

0:26:190:26:22

The UK wants to be high up in the league tables, we've seen that.

0:26:220:26:27

If the same amount of money was spent on walking programmes,

0:26:270:26:32

changing infrastructure to promote safe streets, more cycling,

0:26:320:26:37

we would really make a substantial impact on increasing

0:26:370:26:41

the nation's physical activity.

0:26:410:26:42

We need more money for physical activity level promotion

0:26:420:26:46

that would make it more in balance with the elite level promotion.

0:26:460:26:49

And the graph would do that?

0:26:490:26:51

I would think so.

0:26:510:26:52

The person who has to strike that balance is Aileen Campbell,

0:26:580:27:01

the Public Health Minister.

0:27:010:27:03

So this works your upper back muscles.

0:27:030:27:05

Today, she's visiting an activity programme

0:27:050:27:08

that's funded as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy.

0:27:080:27:11

The total funding for this programme nationally is £800,000 a year.

0:27:110:27:17

Can she really justify spending millions chasing medals

0:27:170:27:20

rather than more on programmes like this?

0:27:200:27:24

I think there's a wider debate around the country as well about what want and expect.

0:27:240:27:28

People like seeing and they can be inspired by our athletes

0:27:280:27:31

performing really well,

0:27:310:27:32

but I'm acutely aware that we have,

0:27:320:27:34

despite an enormous amount of effort,

0:27:340:27:36

a fifth of the population who have remained inactive.

0:27:360:27:39

The active population have got more active.

0:27:390:27:41

But, you're right, we need to make sure we don't lose sight of the fact

0:27:410:27:44

that our inactive population hasn't increased

0:27:440:27:48

in the way we would have liked and we need to make sure

0:27:480:27:51

that our focus is on improving on that figure,

0:27:510:27:54

making sure we do things that we know work.

0:27:540:27:56

I wanted to challenge my own assumptions making this programme...

0:27:590:28:03

..and I wanted to do that by looking at the evidence.

0:28:050:28:08

So I'm glad the government wants to look at what works.

0:28:090:28:13

I've been hearing that the problem of inactivity

0:28:170:28:19

in this country is a huge one.

0:28:190:28:21

We need things that make the population healthier and more active

0:28:210:28:25

just in their day-to-day living.

0:28:250:28:27

And one thing we can say for sure is,

0:28:270:28:30

sport doesn't have all the answers.

0:28:300:28:33

As many of us think about New Year's resolutions to get fitter, John Beattie looks at why our elite sporting success isn't translating into a healthier population. Our top athletes are winning more medals than ever, but the general population isn't becoming more active.

The theory was that mega-events like the London Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games would inspire a generation to become healthier. John hears from elite athletes and ordinary folk about why that hasn't happened and what it might take to get us off the sofa.