Record numbers for Edinburgh Active Schools sessions

The latest data published by sportscotland today (Monday, 17 September) shows that Active Schools is going from strength to strength.

National figures are at an all-time high and 7.3 million participant sessions delivered in 2017/18, an increase of 6% from 2016/17.

Contributing to these statistics, the City of Edinburgh Council ran 584,254 participant sessions in the last year, and 18,846 individual children and young people took part in a whole range of sports and physical activities in those sessions.

There has been a 2% increase overall in the percentage of the school roll now participating in Active Schools sessions nationally, and a 6% increase in the number of activity sessions, 33,523 of those sessions delivered in Edinburgh. 

Councillor Ian Perry, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “With nearly 19,000 pupils taking part in over 550,000 participant sessions we have one of the most popular and successful Active Schools programme in Scotland which is testament to the outstanding effort of our co-ordinators. Our increases are really encouraging and show how much effort the team are putting into identifying opportunities for young people to get physically active and interested in taking up sports outside of school.  

“Our annual Games @ The Hub event goes from strength to strength and this year we had a record 72 schools and 1,800 pupils taking part in numerous different sporting activities. Keeping our young people fit and healthy is really important and thanks must also go to our partners in sportscotland, the many schools and clubs plus all our unheralded volunteers who help make Active Schools such a success.”

Mel Young, Chair of sportscotland, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the continued growth in participation in Active Schools activities across the country.  The success of Active Schools is the result of strong local partnerships between Active Schools teams, school staff, sports development teams in local authorities, regional managers from the governing bodies, and local sports clubs.  By working together, we can deliver more and better opportunities for young people of all abilities to take part in sport as these latest figures show.

“It is also rewarding to see the impact of programmes like Active Schools on the lives of the young people who take part, increasing their confidence and motivating them to continue an active lifestyle in the future.”

Active Schools, one of sportscotland’s longest running flagship programmes, is designed to provide more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before school, during lunchtime and after school.  Developing effective pathways between schools and sports clubs in the local community is also a priority and this year schools in Edinburgh have identified 1,449 examples of links being reported including extracurricular links and holiday programmes.

Delivered in partnership with all 32 local authorities in primary, secondary and ASN schools, the impact of Active Schools goes beyond the numbers with a recent independent survey commissioned by sportscotland providing strong evidence that programmes like this are making a difference to people’s lives.

The survey of over 4000 school pupils showed that 98% of Active Schools participants feel healthier thanks to their involvement in the activities while 94% are motivated to be more active in the future and 92% of those surveyed felt more confident.

Children and young people from right across Scotland have been able to participate in over 100 different activities ranging from football to dance and movement delivered by a combination of volunteers, including pupils, and paid individuals.

The number of secondary pupils delivering sessions has also increased year on year which is a fantastic endorsement of the leadership programmes now in place in the sporting system and something to be celebrated in this, the Year of Young People.

The full report can be accessed on the sportscotland website.

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