What is Active Schools?

Active Schools is a national programme in partnership with sportscotland with the aim of providing more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before school, during lunchtime and after school, and to develop effective pathways between schools and sports clubs in the local community.

Young people make a valuable contribution as leaders in sport. Active Schools Coordinators provide leadership opportunities across a range of roles and support young people throughout their leadership journey. Active Schools has worked with schools for the last 13 years ,providing opportunities for children and young people to get involved, and stay involved, in sport and will continue to make a significant contribution to a world-class sporting system in Scotland.

To view an overview of our primary schools programmes, please download our “Primary Schools Active Schools Support” guide here.


Active Schools Programmes

Extracurricular Sport and Activity Programmes

The mainstay of the Active Schools team, is our partnership with local communities including schools, sports clubs and other community organisations. We work together in order to support the delivery of extracurricular sport for our young people. Our goal is to increase the number, and raise the standard of opportunities which young people are able to take part in sport and activity before school, during lunch time and after school.


Primary School Health and Activity Award

The award is an initiative led by liveArgyll’s Active Schools team, and is designed to support schools to continuously develop their opportunities for healthy living and active lifestyles. For information on the Primary Health and Activity Award, please click here.

Primary School Virtual Games

A fun and easy set of activities for primary school pupils to take part in with their friends. These can be tailored by Active School Coordinators to allow schools to compete against each other in a variety of virtual games.

Sport Leadership Academy

The Sports Leadership Academy is a programme designed to support school pupils to develop their skills and experience through sports coaching and officiating, enhancing skills for life and work. The project combines sports qualifications or awards with practical coaching and officiating experience in a school or club setting, providing vital skills to help pupils flourish in education and employment.

Secondary School Virtual Competitions

With travel not as easy for young people within Argyll and Bute, the Active Schools team have created a set of “Virtual Competitions” where pupils are able to compete against other pupils accross the whole of Argyll and Bute in sports such as rowing, cycling and running.

Boccia Bonanza

Boccia is a fully inclusive target sport, and is played at the Paralympics. It was designed specifically for people with severe physical disabilities, but EVERYONE can play! It is an ideal activity for developing teamwork, decision making, communication, concentration, gross and fine motor skills, and accuracy.


As the national cycle training programme for school children, Bikeability Scotland is designed to give children the skills and confidence they need to cycle safely on the roads, and to encourage them to carry on cycling into adulthood. Active schools will support primary schools to get a programme up and running.

Young Leaders Programme

The Young Leaders Programme offers upper primary aged pupils the opportunity to gain supervised experience of leading pupils at their own school during sport and physical activity sessions.

Daily Mile

The Daily Mile is a social physical activity, with children running or jogging – at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends. Children can walk to catch their breath, if necessary, but should aim to run or jog for the full 15 minutes. We want every child to have the opportunity to do The Daily Mile at primary school, and are now working to build The Daily Mile’s community with schools, local councils, sports bodies and other supporters in the UK and beyond.

Active Schools Coordinators are here to help schools participate in the daily mile.

To get involved, schools should register here.

Everyone can take part in the daily mile. For ideas on inclusion, please see the disability inclusion model here.

Meet the Active Schools Team in Your Area

If you would like to contact any of the active schools team, please email activeschools@liveargyll.co.uk 

Mull & Iona
Marion MacLean


I started in my role as Active Schools Coordinator for Mull & Iona in early 2020 and I love the diversity of my job!

I enjoy working with the local schools to try to improve opportunities in sport and increase enthusiasm amongst local children. My favourite aspects of the job are planning events and gatherings, and the satisfaction that comes from watching the positive impact sport can have on youngsters in general.  One of the biggest senses of achievement is watching groups of youngsters you’ve helped train, develop the confidence to run their own sessions!

I enjoy keeping fit myself and have always loved sport and PE since I was in school – my favourite sport is netball, but I will pretty much try my luck at any sport going! Living on Mull I rarely miss an opportunity to get outdoors, and over recent months I have tried kayaking, paddle-boarding, open water swimming and I even managed to climb two Munros! If you live on Mull and are keen on sport in any way, or have any ideas which could improve opportunities in sport on the island please get in touch!

Oban Lorn and The Isles
Gillian Walker

I have been an Active Schools Co-ordinator in Oban, Lorn & Isles area since 2016.  I love my job as we get to work with young people of all ages. This allows me to see the benefits that physical activity and leadership training has to offer our young people.  Health and wellbeing is an area of focus for us as Active Schools Coordinators and one that needs to have much more prominence in the coming year.

I like to keep fit myself, enjoy the great outdoors that Scotland has to offer and meeting new people which I am lucky to be able to do within my job.

Mid Argyll , North Kintyre & Islay
David McAlister

I have worked with active schools since 2019 and loved every second of it! Since I was young I have loved taking part in sports and fitness and this job allows me to create as many opportunities as I can for young people to get involved the same way I did.

Outside of work I play shinty, racket sports and exercise on a regular basis. Thanks to all the sport I did when I was younger it has become part of my life and I benefit from it every day. If not playing sport I can regularly be found coaching in my spare time to help local clubs and community members be active.

Working with active schools lets me work across a large area to support many sporting activities for all ages and abilities!

Please feel free to give me a call if you have any ideas or you would be interested in helping in our area! Hope to hear from you soon.

South Kintyre
Lindsay Ramsay

I have been in this role within Argyll & Bute since 2005 and enjoy each day as it comes!  I feel lucky to be involved in sport on a daily basis and enjoy working with so many people and community clubs across South Kintyre.   Sport has played a pivotal role in my life, through participation and now my day to day routine. Physical activity and health is so important to all of us, and it is great to see children across the community take part in school sport and transition into the community club setting.

In my spare time I like to golf and enjoy the great outdoors that we are so lucky to have on our doorstep!

Lindsay Mitchell

I have been part of the Active Schools team for the last 16 years, based in the Cowal Cluster. It is a privilege seeing young people in our community grow through the physical activity and sport they take part in. It’s lovely to welcome those who go on to join our bank of coaching staff and volunteers. Working alongside our school staff and community clubs makes the role varied and rewarding, as does working with families across the cluster.

Sport has always played a large part in our family’s life, particularly outdoor activities and we are fortunate to live in an area where there is so much on offer. You’ll never find me too far away from a shinty pitch or the beach.

Joanna Finlay

Bio to follow


Jane Gillies

I was born and brought up on Bute and have been part of the Active Schools team for 16 years. I really enjoy working with local schools and clubs to provide and promote sporting opportunities for young people in our community. One of my favourite aspects of the job is seeing young people attend clubs as primary school pupils and working with them over the years to encourage and support them to become the next generation of coaches and ambassadors of sport. We have so many committed, motivated volunteers on Bute to work alongside and this makes the job so much more enjoyable!

My real interest in sport began at secondary school; I was enthused by our PE dept. and their willingness to go the extra mile to provide a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and trips to be part of – for which I’m still so grateful. These days I enjoy being in the outdoors, be it walking, cycling or playing golf.

Helensburgh and Lomond
Martin Caldwell

Active Schools Coordinator Helensburgh and Lomond

I enjoy the varied role and challenges associated with being a Coordinator, striving to promote Sport and Physical activity opportunities and positively impact the health and well-being of pupils in our schools.  The Helensburgh and Lomond area has 13 schools including Hermitage Academy Secondary school, with around 3000 pupils in total.

Having worked with Active Schools for a number of years now successful partnerships have been established with local community sports clubs resulting in strong school to club pathways being established.  This along with around 100 volunteers supported by Active Schools has created a network of extra-curricular sport and physical activity and valuable opportunities for young people.

Away from Active Schools I’ve been involved with both youth rugby and football coaching on a voluntary basis for a number of years which keeps me busy most evenings and weekends…. Sport and physical activity has been a big part of my life and I gain satisfaction from being able to provide opportunities for others to participate.


How can I help or get involved?

Volunteers are at the heart of the work in Active Schools.  Without their support, the majority of activities would not happen.  There are over 800 people, including parents, teachers, support staff, community coaches, senior pupils and young primary leaders, who kindly give up their time to help across a range of sports and activities.

  • Are you interested in sport and physical activity?
  • Would you like to help make a difference?
  • Are you full of enthusiasm and energy?
  • Do you have an hour to spare a week?
  • Do you enjoy working with young people?
  • Would you be willing to participate in local training?

Active Schools will provide on-going guidance and support and in return volunteers will gain a high quality and rewarding volunteer experience.

If you would like to get involved please contact activeschools@liveargyll.co.uk 

Active Schools sportscotland

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