Following successful pilot projects, five local authorities (Edinburgh Council, Angus Council, Highland Council, North Lanarkshire Council, and Perth & Kinross Council) have signed up for the co-ordinator programme, on a partnership funding basis. Up to£1m will be made available to these five councils through the Scottish Sports Council's Lottery Sports Fund.
Speaking at Leith Academy, Ms Brankin said: 'This will make a real difference to sport in our schools. Sport should be a fundamental part of school life. School provides the perfect setting in which to provide opportunities for sport and physical activity. We can reach all children, in an environment that is education based and in which children can feel comfortable and secure.
'We are determined to increase sports opportunities for all our young people. Over the years too many children have been denied the chance to participate in sport and develop their talents, and although we are particularly concerned about the apparent decline in sport in our schools there are encouraging signs of a revival.
Encouraging all local authorities to consider appointing sports co-ordinators, the minister continued:
'To deliver a truly national programme of school sport co-ordinators we need to work in partnership with all local authorities. I hope that all councils in Scotland will look very carefully at what the programme has to offer and take full advantage of the partnership funding now available from the Lottery Sports Fund.
'I look forward to seeing the kind of arrangements being put in place here in Edinburgh being replicated throughout the country.'