Young people across Scotland are having their say in sport - and increasingly coming together to speak with a shared voice.
Liam, who sits on the Young people's sport panel at sportscotland, tells us about the inspiring work the group have undertaken with their counterparts from Scottish Disability Sport.
A meeting of minds
In the summer of 2016, sportscotland’s third incarnation of the Young people’s sport panel joined together for their first meeting. It was clear on the day we had one thing in common: our passion for improving sport for other young people, from basketball players to athletics coaches.
The eager panel wasted no time getting to work, and we split into project groups focusing on two areas of work:
- Women and girls
- Disability sport
We established a link with Scottish Disability Sport’s Young Person's Sport Panel, and our joint aim was simple - to raise the profile of disability sport.
On our journey so far the two panels have looked into a number of topics, including the disability training given to coaches, ways to increase the profile of disability sport and how to overcome stigmas in disability sport.
I'm really proud to be part of this group and work on this important area. There is much work to done but we are all motivated to improve accessibility and awareness of disability sport in Scotland.
We met up with Stefan Hogan and Lewis McConnell, two members of the SDS panel, when we held our residential at the sportscotland National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde this summer. We discussed issues faced by young disabled people in Scotland and found out more about their journeys in sport.
In the first of our short video interviews with Lewis and Stefan, they reflect on what we are aiming to achieve in our collaborative work.
Lewis said: “It’s good for the two panels to come together and get different points of view and opinions.”
Stefan added: “I think the panels working together will really help break down the stigma that can be attached to having a disability and will help to go a long way to fight inequalities within sport."
Look out for more videos over the next few days as we 'get to know' Lewis and Stefan.
Young people speaking up for sport
The Young people’s sport panel is currently in its third two-year cycle and the current panel have been working hard to ensure they utilise their roles to influence and shape the future of sport, as well as raising the overall profile of sport in Scotland. Regarded as the ‘blueprint’ of young people’s panels, sportscotland have been approached by Scottish Disability Sport, Scottish Rugby, Scottish Hockey and South Lanarkshire who have since created their own groups with support from sportscotland after being inspired by the Young people’s sport panel’s progress. It's clear that the voices and opinions of young people in sport across the country are being heard, and we wish all young people involved in panels the very best as they continue their important work.
Find out more
Follow the work of the Young people's sport panel on social media using #sportpanel