empOUR ambassadors wearing their uniform hoodies

Empowering through Ambassadors

East Renfrewshire are empowering young women through EmpOUR

In East Renfrewshire, a new initiative named EmpOUR East Ren is changing the landscape of female participation within sports and physical activities in the area. This program aims to empower young women by fostering a sense of belonging, developing confidence, supporting wellbeing, and inspiring them to embrace sports and physical activities throughout their lives.

Rachel Scallan, Active Schools Coordinator for the areas St Luke’s cluster, describes the essence of the program's mission, stating, 

"We created the program to support all girls and young women in East Ren feel empowered to take part in physical activity. We want to foster an environment where females are encouraged to make active choices and help build their pathway to lifelong participation."

Where are we now?

Currently, the program boasts 24 Girls Ambassadors representing all seven secondary schools in East Renfrewshire. These Ambassadors have undergone comprehensive training sessions aimed at equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver the EmpOUR program effectively. The training sessions, held at Whitecraigs Rugby Club, provided Ambassadors with invaluable insights and strategies for engaging their peers in sports and physical activities.

Rachel told us a little bit about these sessions;

“Through the training sessions we completed activities around the 4 key areas of the programme, ensuring all the ambassadors had a shared understanding of what we aim to achieve through EmpOUR. These were a mix of practical and theory activities where we encouraged the girls to draw on their own experience of sport and physical activity to lead the discussions. After working through the session plans that the ambassadors would be delivering, we took time to receive feedback to ensure the activities were going to be enjoyable and beneficial for the young people. The ambassadors really bought into the sessions and we all gained a lot from them.”

The vision of EmpOUR East Ren revolves around a shared goal of empowering young women to feel confident participating in sports and physical activities. However, this vision is not only limited to the Ambassadors themselves but extends to the broader community, where everyone is encouraged to embrace an active lifestyle.

Looking at the impact

The impact of EmpOUR East Ren is already evident as Girls Ambassadors are actively delivering the program to P6, P7, and S1 pupils within their cluster schools. Serving as role models, these ambassadors inspire younger students to overcome barriers and engage in sports and physical activity. 

Additionally, East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure is working with the Girls Ambassadors to gather feedback on the program's initial phase of delivery. The feedback provided will be instrumental in the continual improvement of the program for the next academic year, ensuring it continues empowering young women.

Sophie MacInness, one of the EmpOUR ambassadors, told us about the benefits some participants have had from the programme;

“The girls learnt a lot from the programme about body changes and how this effects them in sport. Their confidence really increased throughout the sessions and they all contributed really well to discussions. We also seen a positive impact on how they worked together as a class, showing one another respect and compassion.”

Looking ahead, organizers are ambitious in their goal of embedding the EmpOUR program into all primary and secondary schools across East Renfrewshire. By doing so, they aim to provide girls and young women with the best possible opportunities to engage in a lifelong journey within sports and physical activity. 

Find out more

- About Active Schools in East Renfrewshire

- About Active Schools on Sport First 


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