It’s an exciting time for the Young People’s Sport Panel, as they see their work and plans over the past 18 months fall into place, and continue to work hard until they hand the baton over to the new panel in June 2018.
We caught up one of the current members, Rhys, who tells us about what it’s like to be part of the panel and his passion for raising awareness of disability sport.
What does being on the panel involve?
"The Sport Panel involves helping to shape and develop sport in Scotland, meeting lots of new and interesting people and organisations, providing a voice for young people to express their views. You get to travel around Scotland and visit sporting venues and attend events. It’s a wonderful opportunity and an amazing experience."
What have been the highlights of your time on the panel?
My highlights would have to include being accepted as a panel member, being invited to ceremonies such as the Rio Olympics homecoming event for athletes at Oriam, presenting an award at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards and interviewing staff at Inverclyde National Sports Centre. I’ve got so many highlights, it's like one big dream!"
Tell us about your work in the disability project group
"The sport panel disability group is working towards creating more opportunities for disabled people to get involved in sport. We are all very passionate about equal opportunities for people who are diasbled and highlighting disabled athletes' successes. Personally I would like to see more encouragment and support for people who are disabled to take part in boxing."
Tell us about your boxing career
"I started training at 10, then at 13 I started competing. I have worked hard and been fortunate to win some medals and national titles. Despite being registered disabled I box mainstream, something that I am proud of."
You’re clearly a busy person! How do you balance being on the panel, school and your sporting career?
"I am busy but that’s a good thing, it will prepare me for entering the workplace one day. I balance it all by planning, preparing and making myself available as much as possible. It’s basically time management and dedication. Plan, prepare, do, review is my mantra!"
What advice do you have for young people, especially young people with disabilities, who want to get into sport?
"Just believe in yourself, do not be afraid to try and do not worry about what others think. Choose a sport that you like, give it a go, have fun, enjoy it and keep trying. Be a positive role model and always remember people with disabilities have ability, go and show it. Be proud of who you are. If I can be involved in sport so can you!"
Find out more
Read more about the disability project group in Panel Power.
Follow the work of Rhys and the other members of the Young People's Sport Panel using #sportpanel.