More Ayrshire youngsters taking part in sport

A diverse range of activities are on offer including curling.
A diverse range of activities are on offer including curling.

Young people in South Ayrshire are choosing healthy lifestyles in greater numbers than ever before, with a significant increase recorded in sport and physical activities.

The Council’s Active Schools programme has seen participation levels rise by 46% in the last five years.

Visits by pupils to Active Schools’ sessions increased from 83,660 in 2011/12 to 122,395 in the 2016/17 academic year. The new figures also show a 17% increase compared to 2015/16 (104,631 visits) marking a positive year-on-year improvement. For the 6,500 people taking part this represents an average of 19 additional visits per person, on top of the existing PE delivered at school.

The number of people delivering these sessions also increased from 404 to 423, an increase of 5%, with 92% of these being volunteers. In the last year South Ayrshire also saw a 5% increase in the number of links between local clubs and schools, with 66 local sports clubs involved.

The Council delivers the programme in partnership with sportscotland. Opportunities have been delivered for school pupils to get involved in a wide-range of sport and physical activity including athletics, curling, dance, golf, handball and triathlon.

Councillor William Grant said: “We’re committed to making a wide-range of opportunities available to families and young people, and these latest results paint an encouraging picture.”

“By providing activities that children and young people want to do during term time and during the holidays through our School’s Out programme we aim to offer something for everyone, with the ultimate aim of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“Our current investment in our schools means that we’re also improving community facilities, a process that will continue in the years to come as we look to build on our momentum and deliver for people across South Ayrshire.”

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said, “It’s great to see that our partnerships with local authorities and leisure trusts, schools, clubs, Active Schools Managers and Coordinators, is having such a profoundly positive impact in the growth of Active Schools.

“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.”