Active Schools: big jump in numbers as school sport bounces back in Fife
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Participation in the Active Schools programme is on the rise again with numbers taking part soaring by 64%.
Data published by Scotland’s national agency for sport, sportscotland, showed over 393,729 visits to Active Schools sessions across the Kingdom in 2022-23 - a huge jump up from the 240,000 recorded in 2021-22, the first year the initiative resumed after being significantly impacted by COVID-19 public health restrictions as local authorities prioritised the delivery of core education in schools.
Forbes Dunlop, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “The Active Schools network is a hugely important part of Scotland’ sporting system. For many young people it is where their sporting journey begins, so we are pleased to see participation levels rise again. While we are still not at pre-pandemic levels, we are now starting to see very strong signs of recovery and we will continue to support our partners in all 32 local authorities to ensure that the progress made over the past 12 months continues across this academic year.
“Schools across the country understandably prioritised core education following COVID-19 but there has been an undoubted commitment from local authorities across the country to ensure that sport and physical activity returns to the heart of school life.”
Pam Colburn, quality improvement officer (health and wellbeing) at Fife Council’s education and children’s services said: "Active Schools within Fife is an integral service, crucial to improving the health and wellbeing of our children and young people.”
"The team provides opportunities for children and young people to participate, lead and influence. Active Schools are fully embedded within our services and their contribution into our wider health and wellbeing strategy over the next three years will be invaluable."
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. It is delivered between sportscotland and all 32 local authorities.
The bounce back was also welcomed by Maree Todd MSP, Sports Minister.She said: “This important programme provides children with opportunities to take part in sport before, during and after school.”