CLYDEBANK’S MP has welcomed an increase in the number of school pupils in the area getting active by joining them at a run on national fitness day.

Martin Docherty-Hughes pulled on his trainers after being invited by the Active Schools team to join Goldenhill Primary pupils on a morning run at Goldenhill Park.

This is a regular occurrence for the pupils as 40 of them attend the breakfast running club once a week.

The MP said: “National fitness day highlighted the benefits of exercise and it’s great to see a record number of pupils in West Dunbartonshire getting involved in sport thanks to the great work of our Active Schools team.

“More and more schools are building exercise into their daily routine which has a number of benefits - not just for physical and mental health but also educational attainment.

“The energetic pupils certainly put me through my paces on their morning park run.

“Running is just one example of the many sporting activities on offer across local schools - helping pupils pick up healthy habits which will hopefully last a lifetime.”

The Active Schools programme is in operation at schools across West Dunbartonshire, working with all schools and local sports clubs to provide opportunities for pupils to get involved in sport and physical exercise before school, at lunchtimes, after school and in their community.

National fitness day took place on Wednesday, September 26, and aims to celebrate the positive impact of leading a healthy lifestyle.

It follows figures released by sportscotland showing that more youngsters than ever in the area are getting involved in physical activity sessions thanks to the Active Schools programme.

Andrew McKay, the Active Schools manager, said: “It was great to celebrate with the pupils and staff of Goldenhill Primary, one of our schools who have achieved the sportscotland gold school sport award for excellence in PE and school sport.

“We continue to see a significant increase in pupil participation across the region in extra-curricular sport and physical activity and last academic year we reached a record high of 106,000 attendances and almost 50 per cent of the school roll getting involved, which is fantastic.

“This is down to the hard work of the Active Schools coordinators in partnership with school staff and our small army of more than 300 volunteers and paid coaches who give their time.”