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Sports cash is up and running

PRIMARY and secondary sport co-ordinators were yesterday (Thursday) set to be given top billing by Sam Galbraith, the Environment and Sports Minister, in Scottish Executive plans for sport over the next three years.

Lottery cash is likely to channel an extra pound;4 million a year into expanding the Active Primary Schools programme - now being piloted in West Lothian - and the secondary sports co-ordinator scheme running in 250 schools.

Primary co-ordinators, based on school clusters and perhaps working one or two days a week on playground and after-school activities, are likely to be the focus of a fresh assault on the couch potato culture.

Secondary co-ordinaors who have one day a week off timetable for extracurricular duties are likely to see their allocation doubled to allow for an emphasis on school-club links. But local authorities are almost certain to be forced to match the funding from central government.

Sportscotland will continue to be the main channel for school sport and will have its budget increased by pound;6 million over the next three years.

Meanwhile, consultation on priorities for the lottery's New Opportunities Fund over the next three years will underline a commitment to sports and outdoor adventure under a banner of fighting youth crime. Around pound;86 million will be available in Scotland.

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