New research into the work of sportscotland has shown the life-changing impact of sports participation in East Ayrshire schools.

The research looked at sportscotland’s contribution to the Scottish Government’s Active Scotland Outcomes Framework and highlighted the work of several national programmes such as Active Schools.

From the 538 Active Schools participants surveyed in East Ayrshire between April 2019 and March 2020, 98 per cent of pupils feel healthier, 91 per cent of pupils feel happier and 85 per cent of pupils have made friends.

The East Ayrshire responses also showed that 96 per cent of the Active Schools participants surveyed were motivated to be active in the future and 72 per cent have been helped by Active Schools to be more active outside of school.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Scotland’s sporting system has shown incredible resilience during what is an extremely difficult period for us all.

“It has not been easy, but there has been a shared commitment that has allowed us to continue to progress.”

Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, said: “It is really encouraging to see so many respondents stating that being part of sport and physical activity programmes at school or clubs is having a positive impact on their mental health.

“I am also pleased to see that levels of inactivity have dropped due to participation in sport and physical activity across communities.”