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More coaches for Tayside

Tayside is hoping to take its Impact scheme for sports coaching to a higher level. Set up two-and-a-half years ago, it covers athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, hockey, rugby, swimming and tennis.

More than 7,500 children and 200 coaches have been involved. Figures show that the most popular sports were badminton (2,035) and rugby (2,090).

Pupils are introduced to a sport in primary 6 and 7 and the first two years of secondary school and progress through development centres to area and regional squads.

Jacqueline Whitelaw, the coaching development officer, says: "The important thing is that all children can get access to development officers, although the scheme was set up to improve performance and target the most talented kids.

"In athletics, the bonus was that it led to communication between clubs and a new co-operation. If a youngster was good at middle-distance they could be sent to Dundee, if at sprints they could go to Perth and in throws they could link up with Arbroath."

The annual budget for the Impact scheme is Pounds 120,000. "Funds have been made available for coaches to travel and one went to Hamburg to study fitness testing and another went to America for basketball," Ms Whitelaw says.

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