Glasgow kicks off with urban aid call

4th October 1996 at 01:00
Not all has been sweetness and light in the changeover of responsibilities in the new local authorities. But in Glasgow hopes are high for co-operation between education and recreation that will lead to a new deal for school sport.

In a radical move, the city council's schools subcommittee has recommended that a sports development co-ordinator be appointed under a joint funding arrangement with the Scottish Sports Council. The committee also wants to begin an urban programme to develop local initiatives across the city.

The report talks of "reinvigorating extracurricular sports activities in schools" and wants to encourage headteachers to see sports development as a key part of the curriculum. An urban project application would aim to target areas of deprivation where sports participation is low, help develop sports clubs in those areas and help schools bring in coaches.

Austin Quinn, the council's PE adviser, is one of the principal authors of the report and talks enthusiastically about creating "a partnership" with the recreation department.

"We want to bridge the gap between sport and PE and increase the number of children playing sport," Quinn says. "We need to use the facilities, foster the links, develop the expertise and work in partnership with the recreation department."

Quinn also looks to close links with sports agencies and says: "We need to develop pathways in sport for our children to follow."

According to Quinn, the after-school club format is an ideal way of getting pupils involved.

The majority of secondary schools in Glasgow have outside coaches working with them and it is hoped to extend this to primaries. "We have a long way to go yet," Quinn warns.

The sports development co-ordinator would be expected to organise "area and city-wide sport competitions". Could Glasgow schools championships be on the way back?

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