DISADVANTAGED pupils in East Renfrewshire are being given the chance to become good sports.

When youngsters at selected primary and secondary schools return to the classrooms this week after the summer holidays, they’ll be able to take part in a free extra-curricular sports programme.

The Determined to Succeed in Sport initiative is being run by East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL), which received £13,000 from the council’s education department.

The programme will allow the most disadvantaged pupils to access free sports clubs during the next academic year, giving all children an equal chance to participate in sport and physical activities.

It is also set to run in addition to a range of out-of-school activities organised in partnership with Active School co-ordinators and the region’s sports clubs.

Anthony McReavy, ERCL chief executive, said: “We are committed to working with the education department and schools to secure positive outcomes for all pupils and support the work going on to close the attainment gap.

“Participation in out-of-school hours sports activities promotes physical and mental health and helps create a virtuous circle reinforcing achievement that improves pupils’ wellbeing, enabling them to thrive and achieve their full potential.

“These activities will be linked to our Community Sport Hubs so pupils have a clear pathway from school sports to local community sports clubs, and we hope that this targeted programme will help us increase sports participation across East Renfrewshire.

“The education department in East Renfrewshire should be congratulated on having the foresight to recognise the link between out-of-school-hours activities and positive pupil attainment and we have a strong partnership with them to make sure that all pupils have access to culture and sport enrichment activities.”