In our schools and in community clubs across Scotland, participation in sport is on the up, according to figures released this week.
The number of participant sessions in sportscotland’s Active Schools programme has grown by 52 per cent over the last five years.
There were 6.8 million visits to sessions in 2016/17, compared to 4.3m in 2011/12. Figures have also revealed an increase in visits of 5 per cent from 2015/16.
Active Schools have enjoyed year-on-year increases across a wide range of other measurements including activity sessions, distinct deliverers, volunteers, and school to club links.
The positive news coming from the Active Schools programme is mirrored by the Community Sport Hubs initiative, which has seen an increase in members throughout Scotland from 16,163 to 149,803 with a growth in hubs from 57 to 179 in the same five-year period.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “It is great to see that our partnerships with local authorities and leisure trusts, schools, clubs, Active Schools Managers and Coordinators and sports development officers are having such a profoundly positive impact in the growth of Active Schools and Community Sport Hubs.
“Investment from the Scottish Government and National Lottery continues to allow us to develop a world-class sporting system for all with better and more opportunities for people to participate and progress in sport and physical activity while fashioning ever-closer links between schools and clubs.
“This collaboration is helping to ensure that young people in Scotland have the best sporting opportunities and experiences available and can continue to develop and progress throughout adulthood.”
Welcoming the good news, Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell said: “The Active Schools Network and Community Sport Hubs programme are an important part of our efforts to make Scotland a healthier and more active nation, so I’m delighted to see there continues to be growth in both.
“Active Schools sessions are helping our children and young people to be more physically active and providing great fun in the process.
"It’s also very encouraging to see further substantial increases in the number of Community Sport Hubs and their memberships numbers.”
sportscotland works in partnership with all 32 local authorities and leisure trusts to invest in and support the Active Schools Network of managers and coordinators who work with primary, secondary, and Additional Support Needs (ASN) schools across Scotland.
Active Schools aims to provide more and higher quality opportunities for children to participate in school sport and to increase capacity through the recruitment of volunteers who deliver the activity sessions.
Working together with organisations and individuals, including schools, PE staff and Sports Development officers, the Active Schools Network provides a wide range of opportunities connected to school and club sport.
In addition, figures show a clear trend of clubs benefiting from considerable growth in membership after joining the Community Sport Hub Commonwealth Games legacy initiative.
Clubs with six or more years’ experience as part of a CSH have seen a membership boost of 47 per cent, which mirrors the growing number of hubs across Scotland. sportscotland is on course to reach the target of 200 hubs by 2020.
CSH deliverers have also seen a steady yearly rise, with 14,632 people putting on active sessions at hubs compared to 8,589 in 2013/14.
sportscotland's Head of School and Community Sport Jacqueline Lynn said: "We are absolutely delighted with the year-on-year growth in Active Schools and Community Sport Hubs participation.
"The main driver in Active Schools for that has been getting more opportunities for young people to participant in sport and physical activity, before school, during lunchtime or after school.
"For hubs it was about that local community engagement. It was really about asking communities what they want and we have really embedded that in the system."
Find out more
Active Schools aims to provide more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before school, during lunchtime and after school, and to develop effective pathways between schools and sports clubs in the local community. Find out how to get involved.
Community Sport Hubs are National Lottery-funded and are one of sportscotland's key programmes which contributes to the Commonwealth Games Legacy and supports local sport clubs to play their part in a world class sporting system. Find your nearest hub.