In her days as a judoka, Rebecca Maclean didn’t believe in standing still – and she’s still on the move today, inspiring more and more young people to get involved in sport.
Rebecca launched her career in sport as a youth development officer with High Life Highland and she is now a part-time Active Schools coordinator based at Kinlochleven High School. As an Active Schools coordinator Rebecca develops a range of programmes to help increase the number and quality of opportunities available for young people to get involved in sport.
In the 2017-18 academic year, pupils in Scotland made 7.3 million visits to Active Schools sessions, an increase of more than 6% on the previous year with almost 23,000 volunteers delivering activities.
Rebecca, 27, lives and works in Lochaber but regularly travels to Glasgow in her spare time to support the successful Judo Girls Rock project, delivered by Judo Scotland, Scottish Sports Futures and Youth Scotland.
Rebecca says her ever-growing sphere of experience is enabling her to pass on her skills to the next generation.
She says: "I started as an Active Schools coordinator in October 2018 and absolutely love it. Together with Judo Girls Rock, it’s what I’m all about – trying to get people more active."
The original Judo Girls Rock helped girls in socially deprived* areas of Glasgow and Rebecca has now opened a new class in Fort William.
She adds: "My week is pretty busy but I’m doing what I love. It’s amazing to watch young girls doing the sport that made such a difference to my life – and now I’m starting to see it making a difference to theirs.
"It’s making a big difference in the deprived areas and getting a lot of girls into judo who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so. But it’s also about more than judo, it’s about introducing girls to sport in general and showing them a healthier life.
"I’m in a good position to pass on my experience and help other young leaders on their journey because I’ve done exactly what they’re going through."
Rebecca says she’s committed to building on her success by introducing even more girls to sport across her cluster. Her dedication as a judo coach was recognised with the Young Coach of the Year award at the sportscotland Year of Young People Awards 2018 – an honour she says left her "absolutely shocked".
She says: "I just want to develop Judo Girls Rock further and get even more young girls and clubs involved. I’m also looking forward to getting as many people as possible active – I believe sport can change your life."