Participating in sports programmes has had a ‘life-changing’ effect on young residents of Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, new research shows. 

A report into the work of sportscotland praised several programmes, including Active Schools, for making children and young people feel healthier and more confident.

In East Renfrewshire 98 per cent of those surveyed said that they felt more confident after taking part in Active School sessions. 

Around 90 per cent of children also felt both more confident and that they had made new friends. 

Figures for Renfrewshire show similar levels of satisfaction and confidence, with three quarters also saying that sport and physical activity was helping them achieve their goals. 

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “In recent years we have seen a significant increase in sports participation thanks to national programmes across the country.

“Our work in these areas is changing lives as can be seen from the findings of this research. 

“We are creating more and better opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to take part in sport thanks to these programmes and are determined to build on that.”

Over the last year there have been nearly 130,000 visits to Active Schools sessions in East Renfrewshire, with the figure rising to more than 280,000 in neighbouring Renfrewshire.

The research also includes work done with sports clubs across both areas, with results showing that 85 per cent of members meeting weekly physical activity guidelines set by the Scottish Government. 

Minister for Sport Aileen Campbell said: “We are enabling people of all ages and backgrounds to regularly take part in physical activity across Scotland.”