sportscotland announced this week that Active Schools participation levels have increased by 52 per cent over the last five years with 6.8 million visits recorded during the academic year 2016/17.
Visits by pupils involved in participant sessions have risen by over 2.3m from 4.5m visits in 2011/12, and these new figures also show a five per cent increase compared to last year.
There have also been year-on-year increases across a wide range of other measurements including activity sessions, distinct deliverers, volunteers, and school to club links.
Over 294,000 pupils on average made 23 visits to Active Schools sport and physical activity sessions in the past year either before school, during lunch or after school – with the number of sessions on offer growing by 54 per cent over the same five year period, from 238,514 to 368,074 in over 100 different sports and activities.
The figures released by sportscotland, the national agency for sport, also show that the number of people delivering sessions has risen by 47 per cent in the past five years, with 87 per cent of them volunteers.
The Active Schools Network, which is a partnership between sportscotland and the 32 local authorities and leisure trusts, has been delivering opportunities for school pupils to get involved in sport and physical activity for more than a decade.
From 2011/12 to 2016/17, there has also been a huge increase in the number of Community Sport Hub members throughout Scotland from 16,163 to 149,803 with a growth in hubs from 57 to 179 in that 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 is 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 increases, 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.
Meanwhile, sportscotland’s 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy Community Sport Hub (CSH) programme has also enjoyed growth and development over the last five years.
In addition, figures released today (Thursday) show a clear trend of clubs benefitting from considerable growth in membership after joining the CSHs 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 CSHs across Scotland. sportscotland is on course to reach the target of 200 CSHs by 2020.
Since 2011/12 the number of CSH members has risen from 16,163 to 149,803, with the clubs involved in the programme growing from 227 to 1,248 in the same period.
There has also been a big rise in CSH deliverers with 14,632 people putting on active sessions at CSHs compared to 8,589 in 2013/14.
The CSH programme is a key sportscotland contribution to the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. CSHs make a significant contribution to our aspiration to build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland. They focus on supporting and developing local clubs and sport organisations in the clubs and communities environment. The CSH programme has an annual budget of up to £1.5 million from sportscotland’s investment stream from the National Lottery.
CSHs are based in local facilities such as sport centres, community centres, club pavilions, and schools, and bring local people together and provide a home for local clubs and sport organisations. Our aim is to set up 200 CSHs by 2020, with 50 per cent to be based in schools.
For more information on Active Schools and Community Sport Hubs, please visit: www.sportscotland.org.uk/