Judy Murray has joined in with children as they celebrate being active on national Playday.
Acting in her capacity as sports ambassador, she and children’s minister Aileen Campbell met young people taking part in activities in Croftcroighn Park in Ruchazie in Glasgow.
Across the country events are taking place to encourage parents and children to be sporty and get involved in the UK-wide Playday.
Ms Campbell said: “Wonderful play experiences stay with you and can change lives by instilling a love of activity, good use of the imagination, building confidence and teaching problem solving.”
The minister explained that children’s play is championed in Scotland by the £1.9 million Go2Play Fund, delivered by Inspiring Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government.
Since its launch last year this fund has supported 8,250 hours of play activities for more than 10,000 children and help to transform underused land into community playgrounds, she said.
Possibilities East End Kids (PEEK) in Glasgow is one of the eight Scottish charities to receive funding from Go2Play for Play Rangers Activities and will be encouraging hundreds of children and their families get out playing on national Playday.
Ms Murray said: “I’m wholly supportive of the Government’s initiative to develop opportunities for children to play actively, it’s crucial that exercising becomes a way of life in the early years because that can help to make us a fitter, healthier nation in the long term.
“Providing kids and parents with play spaces such as the PEEK offers here is incredibly important and our Set4Sport programme shows parents how they can play an active role in their kids physical development by playing lots of simple, fun games at home using everyday household objects.”
Set4Sport was devised by Ms Murray who created games for her son’s Andy and Jamie when they were young to help develop co-ordination, balance and agility skills needed for sport.
Andrew Muirhead, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, said: “It is right that play is celebrated not just today but every day and it is part of every child’s life. At Inspiring Scotland we recognise the huge value and importance of play and that is why we’re committed to support a portfolio of charities through our Go2Play Fund which helps to ensure more children, families and communities across Scotland benefit from the real and lasting impact of play.”
Melodie Crumlin, PEEK project development manager, said: “This year’s theme is playful spaces so we are aiming to celebrate the importance of making sure that the places where children live and hang out are great spaces to play.
“Play is an essential part of a child’s life in order for them to grow and develop into positive active citizens.”
In Edinburgh part of the Leith Links park has been converted into a playground by staff from The Yard with the support of the City of Edinburgh Council. The Yard receives support through the Go2Play capacity building fund.
The Scottish Government recently published the first national Play Strategy and will follow this with an Action Plan later this year.