THE number of Scots taking part in sporting activities has not improved over the past 10 years, despite hopes of a Commonwealth Games legacy.

Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee warned it found no evidence that last year’s £500 million of public funding had increased the number of people becoming active.

The committee today revealed the conclusions of phase two of its Sport for Everyone report, offering recommendations on how to remove barriers to Scots taking part in sporting and physical activities.

MSPs also said there was “no evidence of an active legacy” from Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.

A fear of embarrassment, not enjoying PE at school, a shortage of facilities and a lack of time were all cited as key deterrents.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay, the committee’s convener, said: “The variety of sports and physical activity on offer in communities is a real testament to the efforts and dedication of sport and community groups. We recognise the hard work that is going on to try and improve and expand participation rates.

“However, we are disappointed that overall participation figures have remained fairly stagnant over the past decade. In fact, we found that many of the issues raised during this inquiry have been raised before.

“We look forward to a response from the Scottish Government to tell us what its plans are to increase participation rates and to hear what lessons have been learned over the past decade”.

The proportion of adults meeting the recommended amount of physical activity per week – 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity – was at 63 per cent in 2015.

This compares to 64 per cent per cent in 2012, the earliest date for figures using the current method of measurement.

MSPs praised the effect of the Games on new and upgraded facilities, along with raising the profile of sport, but the 2014 legacy “was not universally felt”.

Scottish Athletics said there had been an increase in participation at all levels, but with significant improvements at the elite level. However, others reported a limited lasting impact, with Scottish Household Survey figures published this year showing the only overall increase in participation in recent years has been for recreational walking.

Furthermore, despite a £10m legacy fund launched in 2012 supporting projects across 32 local authorities, some parts of the country felt the legacy had passed them by.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is doing many things to encourage people in Scotland to be more active – regardless of age, gender, or economic circumstance.

“Our investment in school sport has seen an increase in children doing two hours or periods of PE per week from less than 10 per cent in 2004/5 to 98 per cent in 2016. This is backed up by £50m investment in the Active Schools programme.

“Our Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund has seen £800,000 invested to encourage participation in some of Scotland’s hardest-to-reach areas.

“Along with sportscotland we have also delivered more than 150 Community Sports Hubs, and aim to deliver a further 50 by 2020. And our £10m Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund has also benefited 183 projects in every corner of Scotland.

“We have ambitions of making Scotland the world’s first “Daily Mile” nation – encouraging everyone to walk at least one mile per day.

“Of course, improvement can always be made, and the Scottish Government is grateful for the opportunity to learn constructively from feedback provided by parliamentary committees.”

Statutory support of £100m was awarded last year through sportscotland, and £400m through local authorities.

Despite the overall lack of progress, respondents said public funding was vital, particularly in areas suffering from deprivation.

The inquiry was also told that improvements in tracking progress were an important step.

Linda Macdonald, innovation and learning manager at The Robertson Trust, said: “The evidence tells us that for most people it is not a one-step journey from being inactive; there might be several steps before they get there. If we are looking purely at participation, we need to look at measures that enable us to get people along that pathway.”

The committee highlighted young women as a key group to get more involved in coaching, in order to boost participation. Scottish Rugby added that the Women in Sport week and #bethebestyou campaign had helped boost female participation rates.

Another barrier to progress was negative experiences during PE at school, with equality charity Stonewall Scotland reporting that 30 per cent of gay men were discouraged from participating as adults as a result.

The inquiry suggested offering more opportunities outside of schools, particularly involving families, as a way to help in the early years.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “What’s particularly unfortunate is that Scotland had an opportunity not to squander the immense publicity and boost that the Commonwealth Games gave, as London did with the Olympics.

“Scotland lit a wonderful beacon with the Daily Mile, and it really got attention, but it has not been supported enough by the Scottish Government.

“The government and employers must also work to make physical activity much more attractive in the workplace, for example, through giving staff memberships to gyms.”