Make participating in sport central to Scotland's post-pandemic recovery.

That's the message from former Olympian, and South Scotland Conservative MSP, Brian Whittle as the nation grinds through its second tough Covid lockdown in less than a year.

The study went on to state that this has had a negative imapact on both physical and mental health, as well as local communities.

Sport has suffered during the pandemic with amateur and semi-professional clubs and organisations forced to close their doors.

Amateur football teams are among those unable to train and play their sport during the pandemic

And Mr Whittle reckons the time for unveiling a blueprint to get people more active, when restrictions are largely eased and much of the Covid vaccination programme has been carried out, needs to start now.

He said: “During the first lockdown, the weather was on our side and going out for a bike ride or a walk or a run was a more appealing prospect and even then we saw a decline in physical activity.

“The support the Scottish Government and UK Government have provided to gyms and other organisations that encourage physical activity is welcome, but much more needs to be done.

“Looking after our physical and mental health during lockdown has been really difficult and many of us have ended up feeling worse as a result.

“If we want to avoid growing numbers of people suffering from preventable conditions being a legacy of COVID-19, the Scottish Government need to start planning now about how to encourage and support people to become more physically active again.”