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Clyde Gateway – this is the place where health is improving

Clyde Gateway is Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious regeneration project, established in 2008 to improve the lives of people living in the east end of Glasgow and neighbouring South Lanarkshire.

As well as the extensive physical regeneration of the area, Clyde Gateway also supports projects that improve the lives and the health of local people. One example is Jump2it, delivered by Scottish Sports Futures, where 3,000 primary school pupils every year learn about healthy lifestyles and physical activity from professional athletes. They also benefit from basketball coaching and the opportunity to participate in fun inter-school tournaments.

The combination of classroom learning and active participation seems to be a winning formula in inspiring the children to make positive lifestyle choices.

One of the many Clyde Gateway schools where Jump2it takes place is St Columbkille’s Primary School in Rutherglen, where players from local basketball team, the Glasgow Rocks, make regular visits.

“Jump2it has been running here for several years now, and the kids just love it”, says Depute Head Teacher Frances Slater. “They don’t just get to play basketball, they also learn all about healthy living, a message which definitely seems to have more of an impact when it’s being delivered by professional athletes rather than their parents or teachers!

“The programme runs from October to December every year. Last year we had 28 kids taking part; Primary 6 and 7 are involved in the healthy lifestyle aspects of Jump2it, and the Primary 7 participants also get basketball training every week.

“Jump2it has been incredibly effective in re-enforcing the school’s own health and well-being curriculum, and in getting the children to increase their physical activity levels. The children were so excited to be getting coaching from the Glasgow Rocks, and particularly loved the opportunity to compete with other schools at the inter-school tournaments. The end of season basketball festival at the Emirates Arena was a particularly memorable day for everyone involved – we’re lucky to have such an amazing facility so close at hand.

“The report on last year’s programme showed that 40 per cent of the children made a positive change in their eating habits as a result of the lessons they learned, and six of them got the basketball bug and now play regularly. The majority have also been inspired to try out other sports like gymnastics, football or netball. Just about everyone involved was determined to drink more water.

“As well as the physical benefits, so many of the pupils who have been involved in Jump2it tell us about the positive thinking they have taken from it, such as learning never to give up, working as part of a team, and not to say “I can’t do that” but to say “I can’t do it yet, but if I practice I will finally achieve my goal.” One child even reported that he now sees failure as an opportunity to fix mistakes and learn. That’s an achievement in itself.”

To find out more about how Clyde Gateway is the place where health is improving, visit www.clydegateway.com