PUPILS at Galashiels Academy are taking a stand against local business owners who sell alcohol to minors.

Last week the town’s community council heard youngsters are trying to improve health and wellbeing at the school. And they are working with the Scottish Borders Licensing Board to report those who fall foul of the law.

John Carr, who is an S5 pupil at the school, told the meeting: “We have been carrying out a study at the school to see how we can improve pupils’ lifestyles.

“We have been speaking with students and teachers on a number of issues.

“We know drugs and alcohol are still a problem in schools, so we are working with the licensing board to report the shops in the local area where young people can buy alcohol.”

During the meeting John and fellow pupil Doddie Turner also spoke about social isolation and the need for free access to sport facilities.

John added: “We would like to make exercise more accessible to pupils. It is about improving people’s lifestyles.

“When we spoke to teachers, they said vaping is also becoming a problem now, whereas it used to be cigarettes.

“We think having good access to sports facilities would help improve the health and wellbeing of pupils.”

Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine (Cons), who is SBC’s executive member for culture and sport, said the council was working to make sport in the Borders more inclusive.

He told the meeting: “The Borders has a rich tradition in sport and we want to continue that.

“We have been working with Live Borders to do anything we can to get more people out exercising.

“We understand that not everyone is interested in rugby and football.

“We don’t want people to feel restricted, so we are introducing other sports such as basketball and badminton into the curriculum.

“It will be a singing and dancing Gala Academy, when it opens. It will be fantastic. There will be great sporting facilities for pupils.

“We are about helping people get healthy and active, and it is so important that continues in the Borders.”