Minister for Sport, Aileen Campbell, met Young Ambassadors and sports leaders at a sports day at Smithycroft High School in Glasgow as part of the national Volunteers’ Week celebrations.
During the visit to Smithycroft High School, the Minister heard from sports leaders, school leavers and former pupils who had volunteered to deliver a touch rugby festival for local primary schools as part of the school’s annual sports day.
Sport Minister Aileen Campbell said: “In the Year of Young People, I want to say thank you to the tens of thousands of young volunteers who make such a significant contribution to their local communities by volunteering in sport.
“These young people are providing opportunities for so many others to participate as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. They are also gaining valuable skills and experience that will stand them in good stead for their future careers. Today’s event is a fantastic example of volunteering in action.”
Making a difference
Volunteers are the lifeblood of sport, and in Scotland over 7,000 of those volunteers are young people delivering activity through the Active Schools programme – a partnership between sportscotland and all 32 local authorities.
Dawn McAuley, Lead Manager, sportscotland who joined the Minister at Smithycroft High School added: “Active Schools has over 20,000 volunteers, who come from a range of backgrounds including teachers, other school staff, parents, club coaches, students and secondary pupils. What is really encouraging is that 36% of those volunteers are young people.
“The young volunteers are supported in their development and in delivering their sessions and many have gone on to become involved in sports development in a professional capacity. The voice of young people in sport is a priority for sportscotland through initiatives like Active Schools and the Young People’s Sport Panel, and they are making a significant difference to sports development in Scotland.”
In Glasgow, where today’s event took place, there were young 647 volunteer deliverers in 2016/17 and the contribution of sports leadership as part of the educational environment was recognised in Glasgow City Council Education Service’s Standards and Quality report. Glasgow is now the largest awarding authority in the UK for Sports Leaders UK qualifications.
Jean Miller, Head Teacher at Smithycroft Secondary school said: “We are very proud of the contribution that our young sports leaders make to the life of the school and the local community. Led by our Active Schools Co-ordinator and the PE department, the young leaders are now coaching in the primary schools they went to, and delivering sport sessions for their peers here at Smithycroft.
“The qualifications, experience and self confidence gained by the young people on this programme are invaluable when it comes to applying for college or full time employment. A number of our young leaders have gone on to study sport development based on their demonstrable volunteering experience and it’s great to see their achievements being celebrated as part of Volunteers’ Week.”
During Volunteers’ Week, hundreds of events and celebrations will take place across the country to celebrate the diversity of Scotland’s volunteers and say thank you for the important contribution they make.