Young sport leaders from East Renfrewshire celebrate one year on national panel

Two young leaders from East Renfrewshire are celebrating one year as a member of the sportscotland Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP).

Fiona Waddell

Fiona Waddell (20) and Kira Henry (18), have played a crucial role in helping to influence and shape the future of sport in Scotland over the past 12 months, ensuring that young people's views are heard and valued.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Fiona, Kira and their fellow members have helped deliver a number of key projects including the creation of three working groups (disability sport, access to sport - overcoming poverty and school sport. The working groups are focussed on helping make sport more inclusive to more young people.

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Other key successes include the launch of the Young People’s Sport Podcast, taking part in development sessions for the sportscotland School Sport Award, judging for the Young Scot Awards and creating vlogs and blogs for Young Scot.

Kira Henry

Panel members also played a lead role Feel Your Personal Best campaign, which was delivered in partnership SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and aimed to help everyone to feel the benefits of physical activity and sport.

Fiona, who is studying psychology at the University of St Andrew’s, said: “Being fortunate enough to be a part of the Young Scot Awards judging panel has been a highlight for me.

"Hearing all the outstanding contributions of so many young people was extremely humbling and incredibly uplifting. The dedication, talent, and kindness evident in the submissions reassured me our future is in good hands.

“As we start to recover from the pandemic, I really hope we can continue to work as a panel to grasp the momentum from the positives of the last year; coming together as communities, adapting and getting creative, and especially the increase in sport and activity.

"It would be amazing if we can identify all the silver linings of lockdowns and work together to keep those going.”

Kira, a former Barrhead High pupil, added: “So far my highlights of being involved with the panel would definitely be meeting a group of likeminded people who all are aiming to make sport the best it can be for young people across Scotland. I’m certain that their influence so far will impact my life for years to come.

“In the next year with the panel I hope that by working with sportscotland and Young Scot, I can make a valuable contribution to sport that will be seen for generations and allow Scotland’s young people to be physically active without facing as many potential barriers that we can see so clearly today.”

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “I have been hugely impressed with our Young People’s Sport Panel members over the past year. Together, they played a key role in ensuring that the voices of young people have been heard and we are grateful for all their efforts.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the panel over the next year and have no doubt that they will continue to make positive impact on the sport system. The Young People’s Sport Panel is a programme we are very proud of, and it wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of The National Lottery and lottery players.”