Published Date: 

16 May 2018 - 10:43

A new research report into the work of sportscotland has found that participation programmes supported by the national agency for sport are having a life-changing effect on those who are taking part.


The independent research, published by sportscotland in the weeks after it was confirmed participation levels on national programmes in Scotland are at record high, praised several programmes including Active Schools for making children and young people feel healthier (98%) and more confident (92%).


During the last academic year (2016-2017) there were 135,000 visits made to Active Schools sessions in the Argyll & Bute Council area – a rise of 24% – underlining the significant impact the programme is having on young people.   


According to the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework (ASOF): Schools and Education and Clubs and Communities Environments report, compiled by Research Scotland, the work of sportscotland is encouraging people to lead more active lifestyles with 85% of club members now meeting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines for physical activity.


The report, which considered survey responses from 3,000 sport club members and 15,000 school pupils also highlights the positive effect participation programmes are having in terms of tackling inactivity with significant drops in this area thanks to Active Schools and support for clubs. Over the course of the research period there were 770,000 playing members of Scottish Governing Bodies (SGB) of sport.


Key Active Schools findings include:

  • 98% of participants feel healthier

  • 92% of participants feel more confident

  • 87% of participants have made new friends

  • 76% of secondary school participants said sport and physical activity is helping them achieve their goals


Key Club findings include:

  • 85% of club members meet the Chief Medical Officer physical activity guidelines (only 54% met the guidelines before joining a club)

  • 91% of adult and secondary school age club members said sport and physical activity is helping them achieve their goals. 

  • 76% of club members feel more involved with their community

  • 78% of club members feel more relaxed as a result of participation


Welcoming the findings, Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said:


“In recent years we have seen a significant increase in sports participation thanks to national programmes across the country including Active Schools and our support for local clubs and community sport hubs. Our work in these areas is changing lives as can be seen from the findings of this research. We are creating more and better opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to take part in sport thanks to these programmes and along with our partners, including local authorities, leisure trusts, Scottish Governing Bodies, clubs and schools, we are determined to build on that.”


Sport Minister Aileen Campbell said:


“The success of Scotland's athletes at the Commonwealth Games and the findings of this research show clear evidence that Scottish sport is growing in strength and depth, with sportscotland and Scottish governing bodies developing talent and creating opportunities at all levels. Through sustained investment and commitment in our whole sporting system we are enabling people of all ages and backgrounds to regularly take part in physical activity across Scotland, from the grassroots right through to performance level."


Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said:


“Physical activity is extremely important for our young people. Not only does it promote balanced mental and physical growth, but it teaches children with important life skills such as leadership and teamwork. We want the very best for our children and getting them moving from a young age ensures that they are able to live active, healthy lives as early as possible. I would like to thank our Active Schools team, support staff, volunteers and school staff for their continued hard work and enthusiasm.”


The report also contains detailed findings on equalities, with findings showing that Active School participation in areas of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) were similar regardless of levels of deprivation. It also highlighted £4million of investment in 30 projects across the country through sportscotland’s Sports Facilities Fund.


Visit for full details of the research report.  






John Egan, Media Manager, sportscotland

T: 0141 534 1179 M: 07896 780 504



Notes to Editors:


  • sportscotland is the national agency for sport. It is a non-departmental public body, responsible through ministers to the Scottish Parliament. It is a National Lottery Fund distributor and is governed by National Lottery distribution rules. sportscotland invest Scottish Government and National Lottery resources to build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland.


Active Schools background information

  • 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. During the last academic year (2016-17) more than 6.8 million visits were made to Active Schools sessions across all 32 Scottish local authorities.


Community Sport Hubs background information

  • New figures also show there are now 192 community sport hubs in operation throughout Scotland. The number of hubs has continued to grow since Glasgow 2014 with more than 60 established in the last four years alone. As part of the 192 hubs there are now more than 150,000 playing members in around 1,200 clubs.