SCHOOLS in the Borders have topped the podium for athletic attainment through a prestigious award.

The Sportscotland school sport award is a nationally recognised initiative and is presented to schools for innovation and achievement in delivering and promoting school sport and physical activity.

With National Lottery funding and support from the Active Schools network, Sportscotland’s award aims to recognise schools that put sport at the heart of their ethos and young people at the forefront of decision making and planning of sporting activities.

A record number of 747 Scottish schools have now received the award including 11 from the Scottish Borders.

The number of gold awarded schools across Scotland has also sky-rocketed with an all-time high of 399 including nine Borders-based primaries and secondaries.

John Swinney MSP, education secretary told us: "Participation in sport and physical activity has an immensely positive impact on young people, improving their health, confidence and motivation.

"The record number of gold ratings is testament to the hard work of teachers and staff across the country in putting sport at the heart of the curriculum.”

Ancrum Primary, Burgh Primary in Galashiels, Drumlanrig St Cuthbert’s in Hawick, Kingsland Primary, Parkside Primary in Jedburgh, Priorsford Primary in Peebles, Kelso High, Galashiels Academy and Peebles High are all amongst the Scottish schools with gold status while Knowepark Primary in Selkirk and West Linton Primary have achieved silver.

Stewart Harris, chief executive of Sportscotland added: "It’s testament to the work of a variety of partners, including thousands of pupils, parents, volunteers and teachers, that we can now say this is a record-breaking year for the School Sport Award. Each and everyone involved should be very proud of this fantastic achievement.

“There is an undoubted value in sport being at the heart of school life. With that in mind we are committed to helping build a Scotland where sport is a way of life and young people in schools are central to this.”