Jump in growth for Active Schools in Edinburgh

The latest data published by sportscotland shows that the national Active Schools programme continues to have a positive impact on children’s physical activity levels.

It revealed that 7.3 million visits were made to activities across Scotland in 2018/19, an increase of 0.4% on the previous year.

The Active Schools programme seeks to create more opportunities for young people to take part in sport and physical activity across the country, with 609,579 visits made to sessions in the City of Edinburgh Council area during the last academic year – 4.3% more than the previous year (2017/18).

During this time a total of 21,303 children and young people took part in Active Schools sessions in Edinburgh, where they were given access to an extensive range of activities. The number of people delivering sessions across the country has also increased by 3.3% over the past year. In the Edinburgh area, 81% of the 1,345 deliverers were volunteers.

Councillor Ian Perry, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Our Active Schools programme goes from strength to strength and is one of the most popular and successful in Scotland. Last year we had 21,000 pupils taking part in over 600,000 participant sessions which is real testament to the outstanding effort of all our co-ordinators.

“Both these increases are really encouraging and show how much effort the Active Schools team are putting into expanding opportunities for young people to get physically fit and interested in taking up sports outside of school. 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 over 1,000 unheralded volunteers who help make Active Schools such a success.”

Mel Young, Chair of sportscotland, said: “It is fantastic to see that Active Schools continues to grow year on year with more opportunities delivered and another increase in the number of people participating. Our mission is to help the people of Scotland get the most out of the sporting system at every level and Active Schools has a crucial role to play in engaging young people in sport and physical activity.

“We talk about making an impact together and Active Schools is a great example of working with the right partners in the right way to deliver results. The Active Schools network is reliant on strong local partnerships with schools, local authorities, sport development teams, regional managers from governing bodies of sport, volunteers and the clubs who welcome children and young people into their communities.”

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 a key factor in its success and there are now 2,700 clubs linking directly with schools giving children and young people the opportunity to continue in sports to the level they choose.

Delivered in partnership with all 32 local authorities and their leisure trusts in primary, secondary and ASN schools, Active Schools is now a well-established network of over 400 managers and coordinators and makes a significant contribution to delivering an active Scotland.

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