Generous Aberdeen residents have given 20,000 hours of their time to volunteer in schools, in the hope of boosting pupils’ physical activity.
Sport Aberdeen, the charity behind the city’s sports centres and classes, has revealed the amount of time devoted by volunteers is worth more than £250,000.
Despite the number of volunteers staying the same across the country, Aberdeen has seen a sharp rise in the number of people giving up their time.
It has grown by 31% to 797 so far in the current academic year.
The level of participation from students has also increased sharply, according to the new figures, with a rise in participation sessions of 255% since the 2010-11 academic year, to 278,089, and a rise of 16% compared to the last academic year.
Female participation has also grown by 13% when compared to 2017.
Sport Aberdeen delivers the Active Schools programme across the city, in partnership with national sports body sportscotland, which places co-ordinators and managers in each school in the hope of increasing the physical activity of each child.
The programme has existed in schools across Scotland for the past 10 years.
Colin Taylor, chairman of Sport Aberdeen, said: “It is extremely encouraging and reassures me to know that young people across the city are being exposed to the best possible opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity from a young age.
“Sport Aberdeen is committed to creating opportunities, inspiring people and changing lives and real progress has been made in the more deprived areas of the city to close the poverty related attainment gap.
“This is the perfect example of the positive outcomes that can be achieved through partnership working.
“These results have been achieved through a true team effort from our partnership with the schools and I’d like to thank the volunteers involved, especially the PE teachers and teachers, for their continued commitment and support, because without them the programme couldn’t happen.
“Additionally, I’d like to thank our team of Active School co-ordinators and the support received from sportscotland, Aberdeen City Council, schools, colleagues within Sport Aberdeen, parents and of course the children and young people themselves who have all been vital in achieving these results.”
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Bosses behind the Active Schools programme say partnerships, such as those with Robert Gordon University, North East Scotland College, the Wood Foundation and other national governing bodies, have helped to achieve the surge in uptake and volunteering that has been seen across the country.
Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the continued growth in participation in Active Schools activities across the country.
“The success of Active Schools is the result of strong local partnerships between Active Schools teams, school staff, sports development teams in local authorities, regional managers from the governing bodies, and local sports clubs. By working together with Sport Aberdeen, we can continue to deliver more and better opportunities for young people of all abilities to take part in sport across the city as these latest figures show.
“It is also rewarding to see the impact of programmes like Active Schools on the lives of the young people who take part, increasing their confidence and motivating them to continue an active lifestyle in the future.”