School sports on the up in Falkirk as youngsters play more after pandemic

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Participation in Active Schools programmes across Falkirk is on the rise again as school sport continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data published by Scotland’s national agency for sport, sportscotland, shows significantly increased participation levels across the past academic year (2022/23), with over 134,574 visits to Active Schools sessions in Falkirk – a rise of 30 per cent on 2021/22.

The number of participants, sessions, deliverers, and club/school links also increased over the same period.

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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.

Youngsters are getting more active again following the pandemic
(Picture: Alan Murray, National World)Youngsters are getting more active again following the pandemic
(Picture: Alan Murray, National World)
Youngsters are getting more active again following the pandemic (Picture: Alan Murray, National World)

It is delivered in partnership between sportscotland and all 32 local authorities.

Active Schools programmes across Falkirk and the rest of Scotland, only resumed last year after being significantly impacted by COVID-19 public health measures and

protections, with local authorities prioritising the delivery of core education in schools.

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Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Active Schools is now showing strong signs of recovery.

Chief Executive of sportscotland Forbes Dunlop, 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.

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“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.”

Councillor Paul Garner, depute leader of Falkirk Council, added: “Sports plays such an important part in the lives of children and young people in the Falkirk area. Seeing this increase is to be welcomed as we know that participation brings many benefits to both physical and mental health.

"It’s a very positive sign that things are improving, and we look forward to seeing future increases in participation.”

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