Laxdale Primary School were this morning celebrating a truly collaborative approach to sport and exercise, with a Gold Award presented by Sport Scotland.

The school is the first in the Western Isles to earn gold status under the scheme, which encourages pupils to contribute their ideas and energy to maintaining a high level of physical activity.

The lottery-funded award was presented to pupils and teachers including Lorraine Morrison, Laxdale Primary teacher. She welcomed Sports Scotland representatives and presented the video of evidence which had garnered the award for the school.

The former Laxdale pupils, who were the Sports Council 2018-19, and P7 pupils, who are the 2019-20 Sports Council, shared with the audience how they had enjoyed trying many new sports and how rewarding it was helping other pupils enjoy and improve at various sports and activities.

Also present were Graham Lindsay from Sports Scotland, Cllr Angus McCormack, chairman of the education, skills and children's services committee, champion cyclist Kerry MacPhee and Eric Macleod from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s active schools programme.

Kerry told the assembled children: “Achievement is not just about winning medals. Achievement is about having an active, healthy lifestyle and keeping that going throughout your whole life.

“I just want to say how proud you should be, as a school, of this achievement, and how proud you should be to have a teaching staff that are willing to push these things forward for you.”

The sportscotland School Sport Award is a national, Lottery-funded initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education (PE) and school sport opportunities. It encourages schools to self-reflect and continuously improve, puts young people at the forefront of the decision-making and planning of PE and sport in their school and helps schools to increase young people's opportunities and engagement in PE and school sport.

Laxdale will now hold the Gold Award for three years, after which time they’ll be expected to re-apply to validate their Gold status for a further three years. Sport Scotland says: “Through the Gold Award validation process we want schools to reflect on the journey they have been on over the past three academic years and tell us how they have continued to meet the aims of the School Sport Award.”

Pictures show: Lorraine Morrison: Laxdale Primary Teacher, Sports Council pupils from 2018-19 and 2019-20, Kerry MacPhee, Eric Macleod: Active Schools, Graham Lindsay: Sports Scotland, Miss Macleod: Laxdale Primary Head Teacher.