Sport changes lives, as we are increasingly discovering through the testimonies of people who live and breathe sport in communities across Scotland.
In 2018 we told a number of these inspirational stories on Sport First, highlighting the incredible experiences of people like Kirsty Ewen, the McCowan family and Eve Muirhead through articles and short films.
We also documented many of the opportunities provided by Scotland’s world class sporting system that enable people to create real and lasting change.
It was another year of great progress and achievement at home and on the world stage. Here we take you through the highlights of 2018 through the headlines of Sport First.
Focus on Squash
The monthly “Focus On” series allows us to go beneath the surface of specific sports and discover the people whose work is making a difference. Georgia Adderley is one of those people, as one of Scotland’s leading squash players and pioneer of the Girls Do Squash initiative. Georgia capped another great year when she was crowned Young Sportswoman of the Year at the Scottish Women in Sport Awards.
They are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but a group of young people making an impact today. We kicked off the Year of Young People by teaming up with Scottish Sports Futures at the Year of Young People Awards in February.
In September we welcomed more than 600 Young Ambassadors to six conferences across Scotland to develop their leadership skills and we drew the year to a close at the Lead The Way event, where nearly 100 young people gathered at Hampden Park for a day of learning and development. Click below to see a summary of all #YOYP2018 activity.
If in doubt sit them out
Athletes from a range of sports, including rugby, hockey, football, judo, shinty and netball, and experts in concussion management and sport came together at Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, to launch a new set of concussion guidelines.
World class sport, world class support
A wide array of experts from the sportscotland institute of sport supported Scottish athletes and sports across the three Games and throughout the year, culminating in a result to make everyone proud: Team Scotland’s highest-ever medal tally at an overseas Games.
A new research report into the work of sportscotland found that participation programmes supported by the national agency for sport are having a life-changing effect on those who are taking part.
The £1m Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity Fund will benefit 17 projects, with each receiving between £42,151 and £69,985 over a period of two years. The projects will intentionally use the power of sport to effect positive change in local communities and the funding mechanism was opened in November by the Sport Minister, Joe FitzPatrick.
Her sporting life
Every so often when somebody speaks about the positive impact of sport on their lives, people stop what they are doing and gather to listen.
Kirsty Ewen had this effect on audiences throughout 2018.
In May, the former #SportPanel member and swimming coach from Inverness spoke openly and bravely about her experiences at the launch of Scotland’s mental health charter for physical activity and sport, and she documented her story on Sport First.
Kirsty went on to be named Volunteer of the Year at the COV Awards later in the year and, in a further example of the extraordinary power of sport, she was crowned BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero in front of a nationwide UK audience at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Discover Your Gold
Young athletes from across the country were invited to the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on 10 June to be put through their paces as part of #DiscoverYourGold – the biggest talent identification campaign in British history. Our institute experts and partners played a full part in giving aspiring athletes every chance to shine to prove their Paralympic and Olympic potential.
A system for all of Scotland
From Lewis to Lerwick, young people from every community in Scotland are given the support they need to participate and progress in sport. We caught up with an athlete from Orkney and a coach from the Western Isles to find out how an integrated system enables people from anywhere in Scotland to have world class ambitions and expectations.
Nineteen young people from across Scotland will play a key role in developing sport over a period of two years as part of the 4th Young People’s Sport Panel. The members of the #SportPanel were selected from 156 applicants and came through a rigorous interview process.
How we play our part
Working with partners, our mission is to put sport at the heart of society and make a positive impact on people and communities by building a world class sporting system for everyone in Scotland. So who are these people, where are these communities and who are our partners?
#PlayingOurPart2018 gave us the chance to tell the stories of Emma Waldie, the McCowan family and Jonny Muir via a film series.
Active Schools is going from strength to strength with figures at an all-time high and 7.3 million participant sessions delivered in 2017/18, an increase of 6% from 2016/17.
The sportscotland School Sport Award also rewarded a record-breaking number of schools that demonstrated innovation and achievement in delivering sport, with 673 schools (an increase of 6%) winning an award in 2017/2018.
Serving up a helping hand
Projects to help more women and girls take part in sport or physical activity will benefit from £300,000 of Scottish Government funding, as our chair, Mel Young, announced alongside Sport Minister Joe FitzPatrick in October.
Return of the ice queen
Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead made her return to European action following hip surgery to address the debilitating pain and arthritis she had been battling for over two years. The support she received from the sportscotland institute of sport was typical – but also inspirational to Eve as she described in detail the process of rehabilitation.
Sport First also caught up with David Murdoch, 2014 Olympic silver medallist, on his new role as national coach – which has already chalked up one major success with Team Mouat becoming European men’s champions.
The end of the year always brings an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the people whose endeavour, ambition, dedication and passion are the cornerstone of Scotland’s world class sporting system. So who took home the big prizes?
Find out more
What a year – and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2019.
Discover more about Scotland’s world class sporting by visiting the home page of the sportscotland website or one of the following sections: