Lottery funded programme, Young Ambassadors

The real winners

Learn how The National Lottery helps young people thrive

The National Lottery has been funding good causes in sport and physical activity since 1994 and as it marks its 25th birthday, we are celebrating the £3 billion National Lottery players have raised to help good causes in the UK to develop and thrive since 1994.

Since the introduction of sportscotland’s flagship youth programmes Young Ambassadors and The Young People’s Sport Panel in 2012, the schemes have received backing from The National Lottery and supported more than 5,200 young people to develop sport and leadership skills.

Representing sport

Each year, around 650 new sportscotland Young Ambassadors are recruited to promote sport within their school and communities and encourage other young people to get involved in physical activity.

The youngsters attend Young Ambassadors Conferences the length and breadth of the country, delivered by former Young Ambassadors to help develop the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to represent young people in sport.

The Young People’s Sport Panel is a two-year programme comprising around 16 young people aged 14 – 23 who are passionate about sport and want to help influence and shape its future in Scotland.

Now in its fourth cycle, almost 70 young people have been part of this national platform in the last seven years, representing the voices of young people in Scottish sport. Those involved consult on new programmes and initiatives and speak at events to help drive innovation, with many members going on to work in sport.


Panel members make a significant contribution to Fit for Girls – a joint initiative between sportscotland and Youth Sport Trust promoting physical activity amongst girls. Young people informed the programme, helping design bespoke training for PE staff, Active Schools coordinators and other professional staff to help increase girls’ participation in PE, physical activity and sport.

Former Panel member Kirsty Ewen

Former panel member Kirsty Ewen used her involvement in The Young People’s Sport Panel to help cope with mental health struggles and self-harm, crediting sport with saving her life. A volunteer coach at Inverness Swim Club, Kirsty went on to win the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award at last year’s Sports Personality of the Year.

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “The funding generated by National Lottery players help us deliver the many benefits of sport to everyone in Scotland, including the thousands of talented young people who take part in our Young Ambassadors programme and The Young People’s Sport Panel.

“These Lottery-funded programmes are helping create a generation of engaged and passionate young people making a lasting contribution to the world-class sporting system in Scotland.

“As The National Lottery celebrates its 25th birthday, we have an opportunity to take stock of the life-changing impact made by good cause money on sport and physical activity. It’s positive effect on people, communities and clubs across Scotland is clear to see.”

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