Rachelle doing Taekwondo

Feel your personal best - Rachelle

Taekwondo has helped Rachelle through some difficult times

At every difficult time in Rachelle Scott’s life one thing has always been there to help her through it, sport.

Rachelle, from Falkirk, is a personal trainer and Taekwondo instructor. She works as a social media volunteer for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and has done a lot of fundraising for the charity including running the Edinburgh Marathon and doing The Kiltwalk.

Rachelle is passionate about helping others to see the benefits sport can have on their physical and mental health, because she has experienced it first-hand throughout her life.

While she was at school, Rachelle was bullied and her confidence suffered as a result. Her little brother had been doing Taekwondo at the time, Rachelle’s dad had the positive impact so was desperate for Rachelle to try it, and she never looked back.

She said: “I started Taekwondo when I was eight. It wasn’t really my own choice at the time, my dad thought it would be good for me because I was getting bullied at school. My little brother had been doing it prior to me joining and my dad seen how much it had brought him on he wanted me to do it.

“I wouldn’t fault him for doing it. I’ve been doing it 19 years now, so it’s had a massive impact on my life and it was probably the best thing my dad could’ve done for me at the time.

“Everything changed for me after I started. Taekwondo follows five tenets three of those are integrity, perseverance and self-control. Those are principals I’ve followed my whole life and have really helped me.

“My confidence was definitely lacking before I started going. But doing it as an adult has definitely helped improve my confidence, it’s massively helped me.”

Rachelle has competed internationally in Taekwondo and the sport put her on the path to the career that she loves. But Taekwondo was also there to help her through difficult times as an adult.

Following the birth of her second daughter, Rachelle suffered badly from postpartum depression. The outlet sport provided proved invaluable again.

She said: “After I had my second daughter I had really bad postpartum depression. That got my into taekwondo again.

"Having that outlet was so important to my mental health, if I was annoyed about something or feeling down in any way it really helped me let go of those feelings, it made such a difference.”

Rachelle now stresses the importance of physical activity to good mental health to all the young people she works with, she insists her life would be totally different if her dad didn’t take her to Taekwondo all those years ago.

She added: “My life would be totally different. I wouldn’t have met a lot of friends I have now, I’ve competed internationally which was incredible to do and it probably put my on the path to the career I have now which I love.

“Some young people I’ve worked with I’m still in contact with. I always say you don’t need to necessarily take up a sport, even if you’re just getting out for a walk or a jog to clear the mind that can be massively beneficially to their physical and mental health.

“In the classes I’ve done over the years I’ve always made sure that all the kids know that when they come they are in a safe place. So that if anything is bothering them they are able to talk to me about it if they want, or just so that they are able to leave any issues they have at the door and enjoy their time in the sessions.”

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Physical activity is central to good mental health and wellbeing. By finding ways to fit activity into your day, you will feel a difference in your mood and energy levels. SAMH, Public Health Scotland and sportscotland are working together to help you #FeelYourPersonalBest.

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