McArthur calls for 'wow' moments in schools and communities


Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has called for the creation of 'wow' moments in schools and communities to help rebuild the morale and confidence of young people who have lost out on so many opportunities during the pandemic.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament earlier during General Questions, Mr McArthur proposed that bodies such as Creative Scotland and Sportsscotland should help facilitate visits by those from the world of music, theatre, film and sport to schools across Scotland, including in Orkney.

It follows conversations Orkney's MSP has had recently with local teachers about the importance of rebuilding confidence, reassurance and a sense of normality in schools but also giving children and young people 'wow' moments to look forward to.

In response, the Minister for Sport, Maree Todd, said she "couldn't agree more that our children and young people need those wow moments to recover from the harm the pandemic has caused."  Ms Todd also outlined a number of projects provided by Creative Scotland and Sportsscotland, such as the 'Get Into Summer' initiative which she confirmed the government intend to support again this summer.

Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:

"From conversations I've had recently with local teachers, I was reminded of how much children and young people have missed out over the past two years during the pandemic.

"Whether it be the loss of in-person teaching, the cancellation of activities and trips or the impact of the exams chaos, Covid has taken a heavy toll, despite the best efforts of teachers, parents and carers.  As normality continues to return to our schools, I think we have a duty to give pupils' something to really look forward to as part of the broader 'catch-up' effort required.

"After countless hours on Zoom at home, I'm sure visits by celebrities from the world of sport, music, film and theatre would create genuine and long-lasting 'wow' moments.  Indeed, I imagine many celebrities would be only too delighted to help out and re-engage with fans after two years that have been enormously difficult for artists, performers and sportspeople.

"The Minister appeared supportive of the idea, and I will be following this up with her as well as Creative Scotland and Sportsscotland to see what might be put in place.  I'm also keen to involve the Scottish Youth Parliament in this initiative.  Given everything going on at the moment, I think most people, young and old, are in need of some wow moments to lift the spirits."


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