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pound;2.8m for sports

Schoolchildren across Scotland will benefit from a new awards scheme through SportScotland aimed at increasing opportunities to take part in sport outwith school hours.

The New Opportunities Fund has set aside pound;2.8 million to back sport through the new Out of School Hours Learning project. Already grants have been awarded to 26 of the 32 local authorities in Scotland, ranging from pound;223,699 to Glasgow City Council to pound;24,891 to Inverclyde Council.

The money will be used in various ways. The focus in Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and East Renfrewshire will be on teenage girls and targeting health-related fitness through aerobics, yoga, body combat and dance. In West Lothian and the Western Isles, schemes will look at primary to secondary school transitions and keeping children involved in sport.

"Sport should not just be seen as a formal part of the school curriculum," says Alastair Dempster, chairman of SportScotland.

"By encouraging youngsters to take part in fun sporting activities after school as a normal part of their social life, there is real hope of ensuring that they carry this on throughout adolescence and into adulthood."

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