Since the creation of the sportscotland Young People's Sport Panel in 2012, several Scottish Governing Bodies of sport (SGBs) have followed a similar model to ensure that young people in their sport are involved in influencing and decision-making.
Scottish Cycling set up their first Young People's Panel this year, providing a platform for young people in cycling to have their voice heard and play their part in the development of the sport.
Following a rigorous recruitment process, nine young people were selected from across Scotland, aged 14-20 and representing a wide range of cycling disciplines.
The panel members are supported by Scottish Cycling staff but have taken the lead in identifying the impact they want to make - through projects which sit within the Scottish Cycling strategic plan.
This includes growing the number of young coaches within clubs, activating Go-Ride Racing (entry-level competitions for young people in Go-Ride Clubs) and looking at how to develop a leadership pathway for young people, changing the mindset and culture around the role young people can play within clubs.
Four of the Young People's Panel have offered to share an insight into their involvement and experiences so far.
I am 15 and a keen cyclist across many different disciplines. One of the many things the Young People's Panel is looking to do is support the work of the Scottish Cycling Women’s Development Group - a national group which represents all areas of the sport and works to increase the number of women participating in the sport at all levels.
We have been offered the opportunity to have a member of our panel present at each meeting to share our views and contribute to the discussion.
An initial action which has come out is looking at what I can do to get more women into taking part in the Breeze programme, especially in the Highlands & Islands. This offers free led rides for women who are just starting out in the sport or returning to it after several years away.
We are also exploring what we can do to increase the proportion of young girls staying in the sport throughout their teenage years.
In doing this, we are looking to partner up with clubs from each region to run taster sessions for girls who want to get into clubs.
We hope that this will allow young girls to see what it's like to be part of a club, and get a taste of different disciplines. It's also a great opportunity for more girls to meet people just like them!
I am a coach with the Edinburgh Road Club Youth section and currently studying at the University of Edinburgh. I’m working on the Young Coaches and the Go-Ride Racing Projects with the Scottish Cycling Young People’s Panel.
As a coach, I felt that the Young Coaches Project suited me. I also felt that the Go-Ride Racing Project would enable me to get more involved in racing and use my connections with ERC Youths in Edinburgh.
Go-Ride Racing is Scottish Cycling's exciting entry-level competition programme, which offers local competition for novice cyclists under the age of 16, helping young people to make a gradual transition into competitive cycling.
The Go-Ride Racing Project has just begun, we’re currently focusing on the Go-Ride Racing Weekender on 21/22 September. We are celebrating the 2019 UCI Road World Championships coming to Yorkshire by encouraging clubs across the country to join in on a big weekend of grassroots racing.
Our plan is to film a video for social media to promote Go-Ride Racing. We’ll use the Weekender to gather footage and then edit it together as a team and hopefully produce some brilliant content!
I’m from Falkirk and race for Leslie Bike Shop Bikers Boutique Downhill team. I also coach with Falkirk Junior Bike club. I have raced downhill mountain biking since I was nine and was 2018 Scottish Cycling national youth champion.
There are seven panel members including myself that are working on the Young Coaches group project. In our first meeting a few weeks ago we identified some key actions to take forward.
We are looking to develop a survey for clubs to find out how many young coaches are out there and what barriers may be restricting young people from getting involved in coaching roles.
We are also looking to create a video outlining the benefits of being a young coach and having one at your club. The video is currently in production so look out for that on social media in the near future.
I ride for Edinburgh Road Club Junior Team and will shortly be heading to the University of Glasgow.
In early September I was given the opportunity to be one of two co-hosts for the sportscotland #SportHour. The theme was Young Leaders, which was pretty relevant to the work we are doing as a Young People’s Panel, so we had a lot to add to the discussion!
I hadn’t taken part in a Twitter chat before, so didn’t really know what to expect. All our answers to the questions had been scheduled in advance, so all we had to focus on was engaging with the other responses coming through, commenting and retweeting as many as we could.
It was only an hour, but the time flew, and it’s safe to say I have never tweeted so many times in such a short period!
I really enjoyed being part of the conversation along with Sophie, who also was logged in to the Scottish Cycling Twitter account, while our fellow panel members Erin and Callum got involved from their own channels. We are all looking forward to #SportHour next month!
Find out more
- Learn more about the Scottish Cycling Young People's Panel
- Explore Making it work, sportscotland's toolkit for developing a panel