Young sports leaders encourage everyone to ‘Feel Your Personal Best’

Two Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP) members are encouraging fellow East Renfrewshire residents to stay active to help their mental wellbeing as part of a national “Feel Your Personal Best” campaign.

Fiona Waddell

Fiona Waddell from Giffnock and Kira Henry from Barrhead have been members of sportscotland’s YPSP since November 2020 and urging people to get behind the new campaign.

‘Feel You Personal Best’ is a partnership between sportscotland and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and has been backed by Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy.

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The campaign’s launch in June follows publication of new research which revealed that 60 per cent of Scots who were active throughout the pandemic said it had a positive impact on their wellbeing. The research, conducted by ScotPulse, to support the launch of the campaign revealed that:

81 per cent of people said that being more active positively impacted their wellbeing by helping them to get outside more.

More than half said it helped to relax or switch off, while over a third found that it made them feel less anxious.

Fiona, who is studying psychology at St Andrew’s University, said: “I feel my personal best when I get to train with my team-mates after a long day.

"Regular physical activity is important right now. If you can slot in a regular walk, run, workout or anything into your day it changes your view from a computer screen to the gorgeous outdoors.

"Try and notice your mood when you finish, you can often be chattier or more focused.”

Former Barrhead High pupil Kira added: “Sport and physical activity isn’t just good for making you physically stronger, the number of mental benefits are incredible. Any form of exercise will release endorphins that will lift your mood as well as relieve stress, it helps to clear your mind.”

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “Clearly everyone in Scotland and beyond has experienced very difficult circumstances over the past 15 months. Looking after our own physical and mental wellbeing has been challenging during that time but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our overall health and we hope the Feel Your Personal Best campaign will give people across Scotland a platform to get out and do whatever sport or physical activity helps them to feel better.

“I am delighted that the campaign is being backed by the Young People’s Sport Panel – a programme we are very proud of and one which wouldn’t be possible without the support of The National Lottery and lottery players.”

SAMH chief executive, Billy Watson, added: “The pandemic has been, and continues to be, a hugely challenging time for us all, and the mental health and wellbeing of the entire nation has suffered.

“However we also know that lots of people found being active to be a great coping mechanism; and it’s really important to remember that as restrictions start to ease.

"You might choose to go for a daily walk, meet friends for a cycle, take up yoga, or even try out a new team sport – whatever it is that makes you Feel Your Personal Best. We hope this new campaign will inspire even more people to get moving for their mental health.”