A NEW athletics programme for youngsters at Pitreavie AAC has raced out of the starting blocks to become an immediate hit.

The club, with whom recently-retired Olympic bronze-medallist Eilidh Doyle – Scotland's most successful track and field athlete of all-time – began her career, launched a new 'Run, Jump Throw' programme recently for kids in Primary 1-7.

It has proven so successful that more than 190 children are actively involved each week in one of four sessions operated by Pitreavie, with numbers between 48-72 attending on any one evening.

To comply with Scottish Athletics COVID-19 guidelines, those taking part are kept in bubbles of 12, with up to two coaches per bubble, with the aim being to develop movement and athletics skills while having fun.

Those in the Primary 1-3 age group participate in athletics-based games involving running, jumping, throwing, balance and co-ordination; while the Primary 4-7s also learn basic athletics techniques.

The all-inclusive programme is co-ordinated by Kate Crawford, Pitreavie's new community athletics coach, whose background in sports and competitive Highland dance, and from having a degree in sport and exercise science, has driven her enthusiasm for encouraging others to have fun being active.

As well as Kate, six teenage coaching assistants – whose qualification was sponsored by the club – and an additional volunteer have joined together to put on the sessions, and Pitreavie are hopeful of putting more volunteers through the qualification later this year.

As a result of the initiative's success, the club is set to organise Olympic-themed summer activity camps for Primary 1-7s next month, which will include a fun opening ceremony, mini-Olympics and a medal ceremony.