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From then to now (1)

How early experiences of sport have shaped us

In a series of articles, girls from the Young People's Sport Panel reflect on their earliest memories of sport, what they've gained from sport and advice to their younger selves.



My earliest memory of sport: Talking to my mum about her experience of playing hockey in school. I remember being really excited about joining my local club as soon as I could as all my friends were doing it too! My friends doing it with me made it so much better and I still play with some of the girls I started with now!

What I've gained from sport: Exciting opportunities, new experiences and friends for life! Sport has helped me build so much confidence throughout the years and has shaped the person that I am today. The skills I've gained from sport have been invaluable to me throughout my life, from leadership to teamwork and resilience.

A message to my younger self: Stick in with it! Throughout my time playing sport I have faced many setbacks which I've had to overcome. Looking back now it's all been worth it, there have been times I've wanted to quit, but I am so glad now that I stuck with it!

A message to other girls: Give everything a go once! You don't know what you'll enjoy until you've tried everything, and there is a sport out there for everyone, so don't be afraid to give something new a go!



My first memory of sport: When I was very young, and I used to go and watch my older sister at her athletics events. At the time, I used to hate having to go because it was always freezing and little me found it very boring, which is ironic considering athletics is now the sport I love! I guess I must have secretly enjoyed going a little bit, or at least enough to want to give it a go myself!

What I've gained from sport: Sport is a huge part of my life, and I think without it my life would have turned out very differently. Sport has taught me so many skills that will help me in the future - resilience, self-discipline, determination and teamwork just to name a few! It gives me a sense of purpose, and a place to go to relieve stress if things become too busy or over-whelming.

Something I wish I could tell my younger self: Having bad race, or a bad training session doesn’t define your ability or make you any less of an athlete. I used to find it difficult to bounce back and be resilient after a race didn’t go to plan, but now I see it as an opportunity to find areas for development and a way to improve my performance. We can’t perform at our best all the time-our bodies aren’t machines. It’s about trying your best at every race and focusing on what you did well, instead of dwelling on what didn’t go to plan.

My advice to other girls: Just enjoy it! Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the best at every sport you try, and instead try a range of different sports to see what you find the most enjoyable. Take advantage of taster sessions, and use them as a way to have some fun, and meet new people!



My earliest memory of sport: Sports day at primary school. In P1 I remember I was so nervous to run my races and I remember really enjoying the skipping race! 

What I've gained from sport: Through sport I have gained amazing leadership skills, a passion I love and I have become a much more confident person through taking part throughout the years. 

A message to my younger self: I would tell my younger self to be fearless. Go in for the scary tackles, tell your teammates what you think they should do, be confident on the pitch and never ever give up.  

A message to other girls: Don’t stop sport just because ‘you’ll never make it big’. You don’t have to be the most talented or the best athlete to enjoy sport and get its benefits. 



My earliest memory of sport: Practicing netball out in the garden every day with my older sister. I wanted to be able to shoot just like her and watched so I could be just like her! I finally joined a club where she came to watch my first game I remember being so excited that she was there to watch me because we had been practicing out in the garden for weeks! My team got our first win and I was over the moon that she was there to watch. I still update her after every game!! 

What I have gained from sport: Not only have I been part of once in a lifetime experiences but I have been able to gain amazing friendships along the way and have learnt so much from coaches that put in countless time and effort week in week out and have helped me become the player I am today! Sport has helped to gain skills for life like leadership, teamwork, communication and most importantly resilience. Sport has given me many opportunities to work and learn from well experienced coaches and athletes, for example my role with netball Scotland as a young ambassador has helped me gain coaching skills, officiating skills and motivational/inspirational talks from players as well as giving me the chance to voice ways to improve and encourage women in sport. 


A message to my younger self: I would tell my younger self to keep enjoying what you love and do what you am passionate about! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else just focus on you and your goals! Never give up one what you want and push yourself to keep achieving. 


A message for other girls: Take every opportunity that comes your way and know that they will be bumps along your journey but you will only become stronger after each one! Do what you love because if you love it you’ll work for it!! 

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