Scotland is passionate about sport. We demonstrate our passion through almost one-fifth of us being members of sports clubs in Scotland; through us supporting over 13,000 sports clubs and through 195,000 of us volunteering in sport.
At its heart, sport is about fun and enjoyment and about bringing people together. Sport has the unique power to unite communities and to unite a nation. Not only does it generate unparalleled national pride in our individual athletes, from Andy Murray, Sir Chris Hoy, Katherine Grainger and Eve Muirhead, to Scott Brash, Gordon Reid, David Florence, Erraid Davies and Libby Clegg; but also in our teams, Scotland’s Women’s Curling Team winning the World Championships in 2013 to Scotland being the most successful Homeless Football World Cup team ever, from our rugby players reaching the quarter finals of the World Cup last year, to Scots Andy and Jamie Murray leading GB's first Davis Cup victory in 79 years. Not only do we grow talent here in Scotland but we host top flight events for the world to see, showcasing our beautiful country and welcoming visitors from around the world.
Sport has the ability to inspire, which was epitomised by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. In remembering the sheer joy we shared with Ross Murdoch in the pool, to the humble prowess of Tattie Marshall on the bowls lawn; from witnessing the record breaking dominance of our judo team, to feeling the thrill of Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean winning two golds in the velodrome; seeing the delighted surprise of Charlie Flynn in the ring and feeling the inspiring determination of Lynsey Sharp on the track; sport inspires our nation and the support felt by our athletes led to our most successful Games ever.
The power of sport is what it can mean to us all, individually and collectively. As well as being fun and inspiring, sport can contribute to our nation living longer, healthier and happier lives. Whether it's as "the best buy in public health" or simply making sure everyone in Scotland has the opportunity to realise the benefits being active, we need to press the importance of sport and why it matters to us all.
VoteforSport is your chance to show that sport matters to you ahead of the 2016 Scottish Elections; a chance to not only support sport, but support a nation that loves sport so much.