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Why getting active today can change a child’s life

New research shows that participation programmes can have a transformative impact on our young people’s health and confidence, says Jacqueline Lynnsportscotland’s Head of School and Community Sport

School sporting activities are one of the best ways to get children more active, leading to many benefits, not least individual health, but also increased confidence, attainment levels and meeting new friends.

A new research report into the work of sportscotland demonstrates that, thanks to participation programmes, 87% of children are making new friends and 92% are feeling more confident.

Over the past few years, more and more children are participating in school and community sport and physical activity.

According to the findings of the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework (ASOF) report, levels have now reached a record high as a result of initiatives like Active Schools, which are having a life-changing effect on those who take part.

The report, compiled by Research Scotland, highlighted that the work of sportscotland is encouraging people to lead more active lifestyles. It found that 85% of club members now meet Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines for physical activity.

The survey informing the report findings had responses from 3,000 sport club members and just under 15,000 school pupils. It showed the positive effect school and club sports are having in terms of tackling inactivity in young people, with 98% of children feeling healthier.

This type of research is paramount in showing which programmes are having the most positive impact within local communities and on those who are taking part.

The Active Schools network covers all 32 local authorities and works with schools, clubs and governing bodies across Scotland. It invests time and resources into supporting and developing the delivery of sporting and physical activity opportunities for children, whether this is before school, during lunchtime or after school.

The network consists of more than 400 managers and coordinators. They not only develop effective pathways between schools and clubs but vastly improve access to leadership opportunities and roles for young people to volunteer in school and community sport.

Although we have seen a significant increase in participation in local clubs and community sport hubs across the country, there is still a lot that can be achieved.

To tackle inactivity, sportscotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, the Robertson Trust and Spirit of 2012, recently announced the launch of a new initiative called the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity (CLTSPA) Fund.

The fund aims to deliver a positive change in communities across the country, providing additional resource for the sporting community and supporting them to become and stay active.

This kind of work is changing lives.

It’s vital that we continue to recognise the power these initiatives have in motivating and inspiring people to become active and stay active, so we can drive a better future for the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of our young people in Scotland.

Find out more about Research Scotland’s report and download it here:


Find out more about sportscotland, the national agency for sport

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Active Scotland Outcomes Framework (ASOF) report

Explore the findings of this research report into the work of sportscotland and its participation programmes

Download the report

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