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Published 29 January 2019

St Stephen’s Primary in Clydebank is the latest school in West Dunbartonshire to be awarded the prestigious Gold Award for its programme of sports.

The sportscotland Gold School Sport Award is a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and sport.

Delighted pupils and staff received the award in recognition of their work to improve the health and wellbeing of pupils through increased participation in Physical Education and Sport, both within and outwith the school.

Pupils can take part in a range of sports including walking a daily mile, mini movers, cycling, netball, football, basketball, football, dodgeball, rugby, dance, tennis, cross country running and multi-sports. Senior pupils are also given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by applying for and being trained as Play Leaders.

Lorna Jackson, sportscotland Partnership Manager for West Dunbartonshire, presented staff and pupils with the award today, Thursday, 24th January 2019.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Congratulations to all the staff and pupils at St Stephen’s Primary - they should be extremely proud of this fantastic achievement. Not only have they put physical education and sport at the heart of their school and local community, but they have managed to do so in a way that encourages all pupils to engage in physical activity whilst having fun at the same time.

“At sportscotland we are committed to building a world-class sporting system for everyone, and a crucial part of that is putting young people at the heart. Working with our partners in local authorities and governing bodies of sport, we are creating closer links between physical education, school sport and club sport, which benefits young people by providing more and better opportunities to take part in sport.”

There are now a record number of schools in Scotland that have earned an award. There are currently 284 sportscotland Gold School Sport Award schools, 307 schools have been awarded Silver and 82 with Bronze.

To achieve a Bronze or Silver sportscotland School Sport Award, schools self-assess their current practice. However, to gain Gold status an extensive external assessment is also carried out by an independent panel of experts.

Chair of sportscotland, Mel Young, said: “Congratulations to staff and pupils across West Dunbartonshire who are putting sport and physical education right at the heart of their school and local community. They should be proud of this fantastic achievement.

“Along with our partners, sportscotland is committed to building a world-class sporting system for everyone, and a crucial part of that is putting young people at the centre of our efforts. Working with local authorities and governing bodies of sport, we are creating closer links between physical education, school sport and club sport, which benefits young people by providing more and better opportunities to take part in sport.

“It’s great to be able to recognise more schools than we ever have before, it shows that pupils, staff and parents across the country see the undoubted value in having sport as a crucial part of school life.”

Charlie Gibson, Chairman of West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, said: “We are so proud of the work being done across West Dunbartonshire and pleased that so many schools are achieving under the School Sports Award scheme. Our Active Schools Coordinators are integral to this success by providing fantastic opportunities for pupils to be active before school, at lunchtimes and after school. They also provide direct support to schools going through the School Sport Awards process.

“Our schools work tirelessly to teach children and young people about the importance of health and wellbeing, really putting physical education, physical activity and sport at the heart of the school.  With the recent news of record participation rates in Active School sessions, it is obviously working.” 

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “This is fantastic recognition for the school and everyone involved deserves huge credit. As a Council, we are committed to improving the life chances of our young people and having an active healthy life from a young age is key to being healthy as an adult.  I would like to congratulate St Stephen’s PS on receiving this award and for encouraging their pupils to lead active lifestyles.” 

Jane Crombie, Head Teacher, added: “It is an honour to receive this sportscotland Gold School Sport Award. This recognises the outstanding work by our staff to ensure all our children have the opportunity to participate and succeed in physical activity. I would like to thank our dedicated staff, parent volunteers and Active Schools for their commitment as without them we would never have received this prestigious award.”

The sportscotland School Sport Award is given for innovation and achievement in delivering school sport and 17 schools in West Dunbartonshire have passed with flying colours.

The Gold Award for St Stephen's Primary brings the number of gold schools in West Dunbartonshire to six.