A Glasgow-based sport and physical activity programme has been hailed for the transformative impact it is having on the lives of young people, particularly girls.
Minister for Children and Young People Clare Haughey was full of praise for Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) after visiting an outreach project in Parkhead as part of the fifth annual Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week (25-31 October).
SSF use the power of sport and physical activity to engage with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and families in Scotland and empower them to be confident, healthy, and happy.
They deliver a range of person-centred, youth-led programmes that provide positive experiences, inspiring role models, engaging social education, training, and youth volunteering opportunities.
And Ms Haughey was hugely impressed by the SSF Families programme, which provides free wellbeing and sporting activities to children, young people, and their families. The programme is targeted at families who would benefit from building their confidence around health and wellbeing, and how they can apply this in their everyday life.
To equip the families with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make a difference to both physical and emotional wellbeing. We have an all-inclusive, people-led approach helping families who may be struggling with weight, confidence and activity levels.
Following the visit Ms Haughey said: “It was great to see such great interaction between the parents, children and the team at SSF. There was so much enthusiasm on display and people were just having a lot of fun and that’s really important.
“I was able to spend some time with one of the SSF Young Leaders who was telling me her story of going to college, finding out it wasn’t for her and then finding her way through volunteering and through sport and now back into university. Just to hear that and to hear how she has now found her career path is so inspiring.
“Young girls need role models. If you can’t see, you can’t do, so to see young women and older women playing their part in sport and physical activity is just fantastic.
“It is really important that we all stay active. It doesn’t have to be organised sport, we just need to be more active, and have fun while we are doing. I’ve always championed women and girls and what you can do and what you can achieve and that is why this week is so important to me.”
Chief Executive of SSF, Kirsty McNab, said: “It was brilliant to have Clare along to meet our wonderful families and young people during Scottish Women and Girls in Sport week. Young people and families are at the heart of everything we do at SSF, not just in Glasgow but across Scotland.
“We are so proud of all of our SSF Young Leaders, and it was really special that Kerryann, SSF Young Leader, had the opportunity to tell her story to Clare and the progression of her time with us.
“Having Clare along to the session was especially significant this week as she is a great role model for our young girls, emphasising the importance of sport and a healthy lifestyle.”
The programme is free and the weekly sessions are held at St Michael's Catholic Church, Cranhill Development Trust and Helenslea Community Hall. Sponsors include Cranhill Development Trust, Helenslea Community Hall, Young Start (Lottery Community Fund), Investing in Communities (Scottish Government) and Glasgow Community Fund.
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