The Minister for Public Health and Sport, Shona Robison, and UCI Downhill World Champion, Steve Peat, today (10 February) launched Scotland’s first framework for the sustainable development of mountain biking, at Bannerman High School in Glasgow.
Created by the Scottish Mountain Bike Development Consortium (SMBDC)* the framework aims to build on the growth and success of mountain biking in Scotland by continuing to increase the visitor numbers to Scotland, grow the number of Scots participating in the activity and develop and support Scots to win medals in national and international competitions.
Over the past 20 years, mountain biking has become established as a major sport and recreational pursuit in Scotland and the country has proved itself as a world-class venue for the activity. In addition to purpose built trail facilities such as 7stanes which attracts 400,000 visits a year, there are extensive opportunities for mountain biking throughout Scotland on the network of natural paths and tracks, and with around 11.8 million people in the UK owning a mountain bike, it is already a popular way of getting out and exploring the outdoors. Scotland’s stunning scenery, accessible countryside and world class routes also attract a high number of visitors from all over the world. The UK Tourism Survey found that 108,000 trips in Scotland in 2006 involved mountain biking, which rose to 197,000 in 2007.
Host to both the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, which attract vast crowds of approximately 20,000 and world-wide TV audiences and with the event being voted the ‘mountain biking event of the year’ by IMTTO for 4 of the last 5 years, it is clear Scotland is at the international forefront of mountain biking.
Against this background of progress and success, key national agencies worked together to plan how best to sustain and grow mountain biking in Scotland in a way which provides optimum and quantifiable returns in terms of participation in mountain biking, economic and tourism development and also in terms of public participation and sporting development and success. This has been seen by the agencies as a unique opportunity to build on a fantastic Scottish success story.
To read the Sustainable Development of Mountain Biking – a National Strategic Framework, please visit www.scottishmountainbikeframework.org