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Caithness News Bulletins September 2003

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  Gael Force Ten  
Partnership Promotes Sports Leadership In The Highlands 17 September 03

In a groundbreaking partnership between The Highland Council, Gael Force Ten, sport coaching project and the New Opportunities Fund, many hundreds of people in the Highlands and Islands will now be able to participate in the British Sports Trust, Sports Leader Awards bringing valuable benefits to themselves and their communities.

Over the next three years, the SCALP project (School and Community Activity Leaders Programme) will help over 400 pupils from 29 Scottish secondary schools and 360 community volunteers gain a Sports Leader Award, a nationally recognised qualification.

The Sports Leader Awards use physical activity as a medium for personal development. Each Award is practically based and includes a period of volunteering in the local community. Participants learn vital skills for life including communication, motivation, teamwork and planning. The scheme is practically taught and helps promote responsible behaviour by promoting both role models and the opportunity to engage in cultural and sporting activities whilst also increasing levels of physical activity amongst young people.

A team of adults will be trained to deliver the Junior Sports Leader Award (JSLA) to pupils in each of the 29 secondary schools in the Highlands.  The Community Sports Leader Award (CSLA) will be delivered to community volunteers in each of the eight areas of the Highlands. The JSLA Sports Leaders will work together to deliver quality after-school activity programmes to younger pupils within their schools whilst those achieving the Community Sports Leader Award will deliver youth activity programmes in local community centres. The programme will also help over 800 voluntary sports clubs by introducing newly qualified sports leaders into the club environment and encourage them to continue their volunteering after they have completed their Sports Leader Award.

Bruce Robertson, The Highland Council’s Director of Education, Culture and Sport said: “Thanks to support from the New Opportunities Fund, these new Sports Leaders will be able to deliver quality activity programmes in their own communities, thereby promoting physical activity and encouraging more active, healthier communities.”

David Campbell, New Opportunities Fund Board Member for Scotland said: “This scheme is an excellent example of the way that funding from the New Opportunities Fund is providing the opportunities for children and young people to take part in a wide range of sporting activities.

“The Sports Leadership award scheme encourages fair play, leadership, health and fitness as well as simply allowing children and young people to take part in sports which will hopefully lead them to a healthier and more active lifestyle.”