Sports minister joins Natalie NcGarry on Cowdenbeath campaign trail

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SNP Candidate Natalie McGarry was today joined outside St John’s Primary School in Rosyth – the primary school Natalie attended growing up – by Minister for Sports and the Commonwealth Games Shona Robison to highlight what the SNP is doing to improve the health of kids in Fife.

The SNP has announced that it will introduce free school meals for primaries one to three, helping the youngest pupils in Fife get a more nutritious diet and saving at least £330 for every eligible child – something Labour voted against in the Scottish Parliament.

In 2011, the SNP set a target of ensuring that every child in primary school receives 2 hours of PE a week and 2 periods a week in high school. The latest figures show that 94% of Fife primary schools were delivering on this target in 2013, up from 90% the previous year.

A further £5.8 million investment in improving PE was announced in December last year, to boost sport provision as part of Scotland’s Commonwealth Games legacy. Since 2007, sportscotland has invested £80 million in the Active Schools Programme across Scotland.

Commenting, SNP Candidate for Cowdenbeath Constituency Natalie McGarry said:

“The early years of children’s lives are so important when it comes to setting the healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

“That is why the SNP has worked hard to deliver significant improvements in the amount of PE school pupils get, and why we have promised to provide free school meals to our youngest school pupils.

“We know from all the evidence – not least the pilot scheme conducted here in Fife – that when young pupils receive free school meals, it encourages them to stick with them throughout their time at school.

“Families in this constituency are simply appalled that Labour voted to stop kids from getting free school meals, despite the financial help the policy will bring to families and the boost it will give to children’s nutrition – at least £330 per eligible child.

“My promise to people in the area is that if I am elected as the next MSP for this area, I will use my vote to help deliver free school meals for Fife.”

Shona Robison MSP added:

“The habits that our kids develop growing up last with them a lifetime – which is why ensuring they get help with their health and nutrition is so important.

“The funding that has been provided to boosting PE in schools has helped to deliver excellent progress in Fife towards the target, with 94% of primary schools in Fife providing at least two hours a week of PE.

“However, we are determined to do more for our children’s health by providing free school meals in primaries one to three – a policy that will make a massive difference to families, but which Labour has appallingly chosen to try and block.”