Sitting at home looking out at the wonderful spring weather we are currently experiencing, snow, rain and wind, it was a pleasure to be totally transported to the Gold Coast to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, writes Maureen McGonigle.

What an accolade for Eilidh Doyle to be chosen as the flag bearer for Team Scotland, a worthy choice and as Scotland’s most decorated track and field athlete I am sure that this was a momentous occasion for her. Team Scotland were first to enter the Carrara Stadium Stadium, as traditionally the previous games host are first to enter the stadium for the opening ceremony. We have lots of sport to look forward to and great hopes for Team Scotland who have been given every possible support to ensure another successful medal haul. Team Scotland secured 53 medals – 19 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze and finished 4th in the overall medal table in 2014.

Whilst all this excitement is currently happening, at home we are reading a report on the success of 2014, which seems to indicate that there has been little impact on the number of people who are physically active. This is something that I find surprising as I know that there has been growth in many sports, since the great exposure hosting the 2014 games brought, particularly to female athletes. So this is disappointing news. It did report that overall participation rates had remained relatively stable in Scotland and there was evidence those already active were more so.

Generally it does mean, I think, that we have to be more creative and look at other ways to encourage people to become more active, take time to understand their reasons for not participating, the constraints that they have, perceived and real, and deliver sport to them in a package they can relate to. It will take a change in both the minds and hearts of the deliverers as well as those who currently sit outside sport. Who doesn’t want to be healthy and happy and who can ignore all of the research that proves sport can deliver that and much more?

So a concentrated, cross partnership effort, to rid Scotland of its unhealthy nation tag, must be implemented and a willingness from all parties must be agreed.