Just this past weekend, I got the chance to meet up with my fellow selected panelists on the Young People's Sport Panel or YPSP as known. Over the next 2 years, we'll be meeting up and working together to give Young People in Scotland a say about what happens in sport that effects them and gets them more involved.
Last Friday, we all met up at Glenmore Lodge in Aviemore where we were tasked with a number of "getting to know you" and team building exercises - it was such a great weekend and I'm delighted to be involved with such a great group of people.
In the meantime, this Thursday sees me head down with the Panel to Holyrood to meet up with the Scottish Public Health and Sports Minister Aileen Campbell. I've not visited the Scottish Parliament building before so really looking forward to it and to officially launch the new team. Sportscotland has put together specific press releases for us all and I've attached mine below. It's my first ever official press release so I've published it in full as it's a weird experience for me as other than a local newspaper, no-one has ever written about me like this before. I'm obviously delighted.
That said, in amongst all this, I've still got to fit in training. On Sunday, I still had to undergo the 2nd day of an endurance weekend. I'd missed out on the first day due to being in Aviemore but it was good to catch up with the guys on the Sunday and "beast it". It's taken me until Tuesday to recover but then last night (Tuesday) I had a fantastic 2 hour session with the National Team coach alongside senior athlete Duncan Gibb. Hard work, but such a good buzz and great to get video feedback on technique improvements that I have to make to make me a better skier.
Next month we have the main Badaguish camp which we all get together from all over the country to train. The week prior, I'm looking forward to training alongside the senior elite athletes who are coming across from Norway for their summer training camps. I may not be fit for anything afterwards but hopefully I'll find the energy to update you afterwards in my next blog.
One of the British Nordic Ski Squad is set to play a key role in developing sport in Scotland over the next two years as part of the Young people’s sports panel (YPSP).
Huntly’s Brodie Murray has been selected from over 180 applicants to be part of the third Young people’s sport panel. Established by sportscotland, in partnership with Young Scot, Brodie, along with the 15 other panel members will have the opportunity over the next two years, to make sure young people are heard both at a local and national level and that in communities across Scotland they have even more opportunity to get involved in sport.
A rigorous recruitment process began in January when applications were submitted by young people between the ages of 14-25 years old from every region of Scotland.
In March the young people were then interviewed by a panel of sportscotland and Young Scot staff from which 50 candidates were selected for a second interview, which included a group session, an individual challenge and a formal interview ahead of the final 16 being confirmed in May.
The new panel replaced their predecessors at a weekend residential session (June 24/25) at sportscotland’s National Centre Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore. This provided an opportunity for the young people to meet and get an introduction to the various projects they will undertake over the coming two years.
Brodie, 16, who is a member of the Huntly Nordic Ski Club and on the GB athlete pathway for Olympic qualification knows just how important sport can be and the positive effect it can have on young people of all ages.
“The obvious impact are the health benefits but sport can give some much more to young people. Confidence, self-esteem and improving social skills are just some of the differences sport can make as well as providing fantastic opportunities for employment and the development of future life skills.” he said.
Brodie, who was encouraged by his head teacher to apply, is looking forward to being part of the panel and making a huge difference to young people’s lives,
“My head teacher thought I'd be an ideal candidate with my strong sports background and suggested I look into it. I initially didn't know that much about the panel but looked into it more and was impressed with what I read. I thought I'd like to get involved and make a difference, so I applied.” Said Brodie.
The panel is now in its third two-year cycle and sportscotland CEO, Stewart Harris, is delighted with the impact the panel has made on sport across the country.
“I am always impressed by the commitment and passion for sport these young people have. They’ve made a real impact both at a local and national level helping to implement programmes such as the School Sports Awards and contributing to the Youth Sports Strategy,” he said.
“They have also added a new dimension to our board meetings and challenged us to think differently which was refreshing.
“Having now met Brodie and the other young people on our third panel this weekend, I know we have another inspiring group who will have an equally positive influence on sport in this country.”
Part of the role of the young people’s panel is to create online content that will encourage and entice their peers from across Scotland to get involved in sport. A lot of this content is hosted on the Young Scot website and they use their various channels to communicate with their audience.
Young Scot CEO, Louise McDonald, said: “We are extremely proud of Brodie and the rest of the panel and the way they have used their passion for sport to make a real difference to young people across Scotland. This new group were particularly impressive over the weekend and I know they are going to create exciting opportunities for young people in their local communities to engage with sports and physical activity.”
The young people will have a busy two years. They will continue to sit on the panel for the School Sport Awards and help schools implement the programme.
They have been tasked with increasing the number of young decision-makers in sports clubs and hubs across the country and challenging key influencers at a senior level in Scottish sport.
The Rio Olympic Games and the prospect that this will be Scotland’s most successful away Olympics, is also likely to generate additional opportunities for the panel to capitalise on medal successes.
2018 will be ‘The Year of Young People’ and the panel will be heavily involved in sportscotland’s approach in making sure young people across Scotland get the chance to live a healthier, happier lifestyle.
The panel are also given the opportunity to address regional and national forums to give them the confidence to promote the positive messages of sport to a wider audience.