During the school year of 18-19 an activity survey was carried out across all schools within Renfrewshire. This survey saw a return of 19,000 responses, which in turn gave a clearer picture of target groups that required extra support to become more physically active. One of these groups identified was girls and young women within primary schools.
Using these results Renfrewshire Sports Services were able to attract additional funding through Sport Scotland’s Women’s and Girls Fund. This additional funding has enabled us to plan a high quality coach education and school sports programme.
Starting in August 19 a tailored programme has been agreed with each primary school in Renfrewshire to offer girls only sessions twice per week, to try and encourage girls to become more active in sport. Using the results of the survey, four sports have been identified as key activities that may help to encourage more girls to take part in sport or physical activity.
Our project will increase the number of girls participating in sport and physical activity across Renfrewshire. By providing the opportunity locally and at no cost, our coaches can provide an environment where participants can learn a new sport, develop their skills and thrive in competition. Our activity survey was carried out across Renfrewshire and issued to every pupil in both primary and secondary schools. At present we have return rate of over 75% of which 42% are female pupils. From the results of the survey we are able to assess that a minimum of 1,326 (35%) primary aged girls are inactive and completing between 0-3hrs of activity per week.
In order to engage non participants we have identified that dance, gymnastics, football and basketball are within the top 10 sports requested by girls in Renfrewshire. Due to the popularity of the sports in the survey returns, we hope to see a high uptake in attendances and in turn improve activity levels. Active Schools Coordinators can evaluate their school roll, identify students who are completing less than the recommended government physical activity guidelines and promote the opportunity best suited to the individual.
Our programme is just at the beginning of the implementation process. At present we are in discussions with all primary school head teachers to launch 102 extra curricular sports clubs. These clubs will begin the first week in September and we aim to promote these opportunities to all primary aged girls, as well as a concentrated focus on our identified in active pupils.
Over the past few months we have also begun the coach education part of the programme. To date we have trained 20 volunteers and coaches to deliver basic gymnastics, as well as an additional 40 volunteers completing Dance Leaders qualifications. We have additional training planned for both football and basketball to be completed in September.
We have also begun talks with local accredited Community Sports Hub clubs within Renfrewshire to ensure that there is a clear sporting pathway for all pupils within Renfrewshire. It is our hope that we can engage with pupils that previously identified as being inactive and sign post them to continue these sports within a community setting.
We would like people reading this to be inspired to participate in sport and physical activity. Our programme targets a group identified within Renfrewshire but our wider Active Schools and sport specific programmes aim to get all pupils and communities in Renfrewshire Active.