More active than ever

School sport participation at record high

Six thousands miles away in Rio, our Olympians went higher, faster and stronger than ever before with a record-breaking performance at an away Games this summer.

Closer to home, Scotland's pupils continued to break new ground of their own, resulting in an unprecedented level of sport and physical activity in schools.

The only way is up, up, up  

In the week that the Scots on Team GB returned from Brazil with a haul of 13 medals, it was revealed that school pupils across Scotland have made 6.5million visits to Active Schools sport and physical activity sessions in the past year – a record high number which is a seven per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

The figures also show that during the 2015/16 academic year the number of activity sessions offered has increased by five per cent to 350,000, with a wide range of over 100 different sports and activities on offer.

The number of people delivering these sessions also increased to more than 22,000, an increase of eight per cent, 19,000 of whom are volunteers.

A decade and counting

The Active Schools Network, which is a partnership between sportscotland and the country's 32 local authorities and their leisure trusts, has been delivering opportunities for school pupils to get involved in sport and physical activity before school, during lunch, and after school for more than a decade.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Coming on the back of the Scots on Team GB returning home with a record haul of medals, sportscotland is delighted to announce that the Active Schools Network has once again reported a record high number of visits over the past year.

“We hope to motivate and inspire young people to participate in sport, so it is encouraging to see that the network of over 400 managers and coordinators, along with the dedicated volunteers, is doing just that.

“Our strong partnerships with local authorities and the Scottish Government are helping to further strengthen and improve our Active Schools Network across the country.

"Together, we will continue to ensure that young people in Scotland have the best sporting opportunities and experiences available.

“We are continuing to build a world class system for all and now have better and stronger connections between schools, clubs, and performance sport with more opportunities for people to participate and progress.”

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, added: “The Active Schools Network is an important part of our efforts to make Scotland a healthier and more active nation, so I’m delighted to see there has been another increase in the number of children and young people taking part. Sport and physical activity is tremendous for health and wellbeing and it’s also great fun.

“I’m also really pleased to see an increase in the number of people delivering these sessions – the vast majority of whom are volunteers. These people deserve a big vote of thanks for giving up their time to enable children and young people to enjoy sport.”

How Active Schools works

sportscotland works in partnership with all 32 local authorities 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.

Active Schools coordinate opportunities for children and young people to participate in sport before school, during lunchtime, and after school. Active Schools co-ordinators also build partnerships locally to develop schools to club pathways.

For more information visit the Active Schools section on the sportscotland website.  

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