Sy Young Ambassador Conference Hampden Wednesday139

Ready to be Sporting Leaders

Young Ambassadors Ready to be Role Models and Leaders in their School

Last month over 600 young people and their mentors from secondary schools across Scotland came together for the 2023 Young Ambassador conferences. 

The Young Ambassadors is a National Lottery funded programme and a key element of the sportscotland’s contribution to developing young people as leaders in sport. The conferences play a key role in providing young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to undertake the role of promoting and inspiring other young people to get involved in sport within their schools and communities.

The Young Ambassador conferences were hosted by former athlete and broadcaster Rhona McLeod, who shared her views on the power sport can have in developing key leadership skills. Rhona talked through her experience as an athlete and career in sports broadcasting and how she has seen the impact of the young ambassador’s programme over the years.

Each year two pupils from every secondary school in Scotland have the opportunity to be selected as Young Ambassadors to promote sport, and motivate and inspire other young people to get involved in sport in their schools, clubs and local communities.

Led by Young People 

All of the conferences have young people at the heart and each one is opened by a Young Ambassador conference deliverer, who has been through the young ambassador’s programme themselves and is now being given the chance to lead and inspire the future ambassadors. Six of the group (Jamie Dickson (Central), Caitlin McFall (Edinburgh), Anna Newbould and Josh Arkell (Glasgow), Chloe Reynolds (Inverness) and Angel George (Aberdeen)) were given the opportunity to open one of the six conferences and share their own experiences of being a YA in a Q&A with host Rhona. 


Chloe Reynolds, a current pupil at Lochaber Academy, in Fort William said: “I think the day was really great and that all the Young Ambassadors really enjoyed themselves and learnt lots of things they can take back to school. My highlight of the day was getting to do the Q&A on stage in front of all my peers. "The Young Ambassador programme has helped me massively develop my confidence and my advice to new young ambassadors would be to just go for it and know that you are making a difference in your school.”

Inspired by Scottish Athletes

The Young Ambassadors at each of the conferences were joined by a variety of Scottish athletes, representing a range of sports, who shared a bit about their journey as an athlete as well as some inspiring stories to the group of Young Ambassadors and helped them prepare for their time as role models within their schools. The guest athletes included Birmingham 2022 Gold medal winning Judo athlete, Sarah Adlington, Scottish Weightlifting and CrossFit Champion, Sheli McCoy, Scottish cyclist, Cameron Mason and Team Scotland gymnast Cameron Lynn. 

Sheli McCoy, who was the guest athlete at the Aberdeen conference, has competed in five British Weightlifting Championships events and several CrossFit championships all over the world such London and Tenerife. Sheli shared a bit about her journey as an athlete as well as some inspiring stories to the group of Young Ambassadors and helped them prepare for their time as role models within their schools.

Sheli said, “I was really excited to be asked to come along to the sportscotland Young Ambassadors conference in Aberdeen, as it was a programme that I was not familiar with, but getting to speak and hear from so many young people was amazing and hearing about all their plans for their schools. "One of my main goals as an athlete is to educate, motivate and inspire young people, so if one thing I said during my time with the young people in Aberdeen resonated with them, I’m happy.”

Find out more

Learn more about our Young Ambassadors programme

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