PLAYERS and committee members of the John Thomson Memorial Tournament went to the Scottish Parliament this week for a fact-finding visit to see how it works and quiz Fife MSP Alex Rowley on the Parliament's role in supporting sport.

The Cardenden group had a tour of the Holyrood building and a session in one of the committee rooms, where they were able to discuss both the success of the John Thomson Tournament children's football tournament held each September in memory of the Cardenden man who died following injuries sustained while playing in goal for Celtic in an Old Firm game, and the challenges for local sports clubs in being able to access sports facilities and afford them.

Speaking afterwords Alex Rowley said: “The committee and the young people were very interested in how Holyrood works but were also keen to impress on me the real challenges for local sports clubs.

"The cost of accessing facilities, such as astro pitches and indoor facilities, does create real barriers for many youth teams and I will be asking Fife Council how they are addressing these issues.

"I also think more could be done to support youth clubs access funding and will be following this up”.

Mr Rowley said he would encourage any group to go and see the Parliament and learn more about how it works and his office is happy to arrange such visits.