Meet Scott, Active Schools Coordinator at Dunbar Grammar School.
Scott works as an Active School Coordinator for Dunbar Grammar School. He has worked for East Lothian Council since 2014 starting as a Pupil Support Worker at Knox Academy and has been in his current role since 2018. The main function of his role is to support and encourage young people to be more active and to break down any barriers that might prevent a young person from accessing sporting activities within the school or their community.
East Lothian Active Schools is part of Sport Scotland Active Schools network which is funded by both East Lothian Council and Sports Scotland. Across the county each of the six school cluster areas has two active schools co-ordinators – one Primary School based and one Secondary School based.
Scott’s role involves co-ordinating extra curriculum clubs for young people enabling them to participate in sport and activities within their school.
Scott said: “I lead at recruiting, supporting and retaining volunteers and coaches to run/facilitate these clubs to increase the capacity of resources available for our young people. We work hard at building relationships with community clubs to create pathways to enable our young people to become members, players, coaches, referees of local clubs. We offer a huge range of activity and sports from football, hockey, and rugby to more adventurous activities like surfing and wakeboarding! Many of the young people who have participated in active schools clubs have gone on to excel in their chosen sports. Whilst this is great, it is also very pleasing to see a young person continuing and enjoying sport at any level
Scott’s team also works closely with school staff and other agencies to identify any challenges, barriers or obstacles that young people may face in relation to accessing activities. For example issues associated with poverty can be a huge barrier for some. Scott said: “We want every young person to be able to have the chance to participate within sport and activity equally with their peers. We also feel strongly about our responsibilities and duties in relation to corporate parenting and provide additional support to our care experienced young people to ensure they have all opportunities available to them in accessing sport.”
“I find working for Active Schools rewarding as helping young people becoming and enjoying being physically active is a passion of mine. I see the promotion and encouragement of young people to participate in activities as not just about improving their physical health but is also a key contributor in supporting their emotional and social wellbeing. I have worked with young people for many years and have seen the benefits of this first-hand in relation to their social development, increased confidence and self-esteem, a sense of feeling part of a team and of being valued, and the development of leadership skills through sport and leadership mentoring. Also, we know there are huge links between emotional and physical wellbeing and academic performance so it is a ‘win win’ for everyone! I like the flexibility and diversity of my role, no day is ever the same which is great. I get to work with a variety of young people staff, adults as well as people across the community.”
“When we went in to lockdown in March 2020 our teams’ role changed dramatically, there was an end to all outdoor and indoor sports at school and community sport. The Education department and Active School staff ran the after school and holiday HUBS throughout East Lothian. When we came back after the 1st lockdown only outdoor clubs were allowed to be run and with lots of restrictions put in place. However it was important to get these clubs up and running to engage young people back in to physical activity. We know that COVID has had a huge impact on our young people’s mental health and we have been working hard to support them through making sure clubs are up and running as safe and as well informed as far as possible to help this transition. East Lothian has some amazing natural resources which can provide many opportunities for us to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of our young people. A positive outcome of COVID was that more of our young people and families were reminded of what East Lothian has to offer, whether it’s cycling, walking, golfing or wild swimming!.”