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From then to now (2)

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: When I was 5 I used to go up to the secondary school to go to my gymnastics club. I was always a bit early before the school day was done so I used to peer through the games hall doors to see all the ‘big kids’ playing sport in their PE lessons that were taught by my mum. It looked so fun, I just wanted to join in! I knew then that I wanted to always be involved in sport just like my mum is.


What I've gained from sport: I have grown up playing sport all my life, I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t had sport. I have been able to grow in confidence and gain leadership skills because of the opportunities sport has provided me with. Opportunities such as being a young sports ambassador, sports captain and a health & wellbeing young leader have all allowed me to grow in confidence while using leadership skills within my role to provide good sporting opportunities within my school and community. I have also gained many friendships through sport, some of my best friends are the ones I have made through sport. But the best thing I have gained through sport is fun and enjoyment, I love being involved in sport and that’s one of the key reasons why I have gone on to study to become a PE teacher because I want to be able to create opportunities like I had for others and I love sport.


A message to my younger self: Don’t be scared to fail, there will be times when you face challenges or set backs but you have to keep trying. Always remember why you started playing sport and why you love it , don’t forget where it all began and when an opportunity comes you way take it. Because you will never regret the opportunities you take, you only regret the ones you don’t. And in the end everything happens for a reason and will work out just how it’s meant to.


A message to other girls: Try and get involved in as much school sport as you can, my best memories from school are from sporting events. Don’t be afraid to get involved, it doesn’t matter what ability you are, sport is for everyone. You will have so much fun, making friends and memories that last a lifetime. And always be yourself, you don’t ever have to change for anyone just be you and do what makes you happy.




My earliest memory of sport: When I was around 6 years old and stepped foot onto the ice for the very first time at waterfront ice rink on a Friday night. I instantly knew this was the sport I was going to fall in love with and continue to push myself to the highest level I possibly could, despite being part of many different sports clubs and living a very active lifestyle. I remember watching the Skate UK class before mine while my mum laced my boots and being absolutely mesmerised by the group before me and wishing to be able to skate, spin and jump just like them.

What I've gained from sport: Personally, through sport I have developed and improved many qualities such as determination, resilience and perseverance as you're never going to get a skill perfect on the first try as lots of hard work is behind everything you gain and achieve. In sports you're always going to have days where you feel like you aren’t performing to the best of your ability which you cannot let demotivate you or stop you from pushing yourself to work the best you can.

From a volunteer point of view, sport has helped me develop many skills such as communication, time management and confidence as you need to coach large groups of people while being comfortable and relaxed with a detailed session plan to help you if needed. Through sport I have also made many friends for life from all over the UK who I keep in contact with and meet on a regular basis as well as many good sporting connections and opportunities all across the UK.

A message to my younger self: One thing I would tell my younger self in be confident in everything you do even if you're uncomfortable and that’s half the battle. If you believe you can do it so will everyone else and you will always succeed.

A message to other girls: Be confident in yourself and never let anyone tell you that you're not good enough!



My earliest memory of sport: I was around five or six years old; my parents had decided to pay a visit to Krauseworld, a martial arts gym around the corner from where we had lived to see if my brother and I could join. When we got there, my parents went to talk to one of the instructors and I remember wandering up to the glass and watching two people sparring - at that young age, I was awed by their skill and considered how amazing it would be to have that kind of ability myself. We ended up joining Krauseworld and I progressed in skill as time went on; I felt empowered with having the ability to defend myself but also treasured the sense of community that my family and I gained from the sport.

What I've gained from sport: Being home-schooled and now going to an online school meant that most of the interactions I had happened through the sports I played. I have had a lot of ups and downs throughout my journey in sport and I can guarantee that each one has taught me an important, valuable lesson. ‘Failing’ or ‘losing’ in sport taught me resilience, perseverance and good sportsmanship - a positive attitude that can be applied to life as well as sport. Successes and wins gave me joy, gratification and proved to me that hard work pays off. The constant that I have gained throughout sport - in both success and failure however, has been empowerment. If I lost and returned determinedly to practice, I would gain confidence from knowing that I was resilient and mentally strong, and when I won, the idea that I could do anything was proven.

A message to my younger self: I know it sounds kind of cliche, but I would tell my younger self to dream big - anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard. Younger me would never believe current me if I told her how far we’ve come in ability and confidence. I would also tell my younger self to always retain the same enjoyment for sport that I had at the very beginning - because having fun automatically makes you play better than If you are stressed and it also makes you a beacon of welcome and encouragement for other fellow young sports players.



My earliest memory of sport: I remember, in primary school, I went to one of my first ever tournaments in Inverness. I was very nervous and all the other teams looked very intimidating, but I played my best within my team and we got to the finals!

What I've gained from sport: From sport I have gained lots of confidence in myself and I am now much better at controlling my nerves in certain situations. I have also gained lots of new life long friendships.

A message to my younger self: Don’t be afraid to try out new sports and challenge yourself. Take deep breaths and always try your best!


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