Isles MP Angus B MacNeil did his bit for Sport Relief last week by taking part in a Snookerthon in Stornoway.
While people across the country took on sporting challenges to raise funds for the campaign, Mr MacNeil was delighted to play a part in the 24 hour Snookerthon challenge by Derek ‘Pluto’ Murray from BBC Radio nan Gaidheal.
Although defeated at the hands of ‘Pluto’, Mr MacNeil was not disheartened and later met with Tony Wade, Sports Facilities Service Manager at Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais to discuss efforts to encourage more islanders to take regular exercise.
Mr MacNeil said: “It is well documented that being physically active can help us lead a healthier and happier life.
“Investing in fitness instructors would not only improve our health and well-being, but it would also save NHS budgets. It was very interesting to hear that the cost to the NHS of repairing a hip fracture is the equivalent of hiring a fitness instructor for 9 months.
“It was good to meet with Tony Wade and encouraging to see the many physical activities on offer in our sports facilities.”
He added: “I was also very pleased to hear that the sports centres in Castlebay and Liniclate were well used over the festive period in what was a pilot project to test customer response.
“Previously the two centres were closed from Christmas Eve until the New Year and I asked the Comhairle to review the opening times which they did.
“Over that period there were 260 visits which I hope will help support the case that these facilities should be available for use during holiday periods.”