Young ambassadors ready to be role models

On September 1 more than 100 young people from local secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, along with their Active Schools co-ordinators and PE teachers who act as mentors, came together at Pittodrie Stadium for the first 2022 Young Ambassador conference.

Lynne Beattie (Athlete guest), Kirsten Harper (Young Ambassador Lead), Stewart Harris (sportscotland Chief Executive) and Rhona Mcleod (conference host)
Lynne Beattie (Athlete guest), Kirsten Harper (Young Ambassador Lead), Stewart Harris (sportscotland Chief Executive) and Rhona Mcleod (conference host)

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 conference was 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.

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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.

Kirsten Harper opened and closed the Aberdeen conference and was given the opportunity to share her own experiences of being a Young Ambassador in a Q&A session with host Rhona.

Previously attending The Gordons School and now about to begin her time at the University of Stirling, Kirsten spoke of how much she got out of the Young Ambassadors programme and how she wants to be able to give back as much as she got out of it.

She said: “It was really great to be at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen at the Young Ambassadors conference. For me it was made even more special, to now be on the other side of it, as I am getting to support new Young Ambassadors at the start of their journey and share more about my time and what I achieved as a young ambassador.

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"I hope I inspired the new young ambassadors, and they get as many great experiences as I got from mine.”

One highlight of the Young Ambassadors conferences is the involvement of well-known Scottish athletes from across different sports. The Young Ambassadors at Pittodrie were joined by Olympic and Commonwealth Volleyball athlete, Lynne Beattie, who shared a bit about her journey as an athlete and some inspiring stories to the group of Young Ambassadors and helped them prepare for their time as role models within their schools.

Lynne said: “It was absolutely brilliant being up in Aberdeen at the Young Ambassadors conference. For me young people are an absolute asset to sport and physical activity.

"They have a great ability to contribute to not only getting new people involved in sport but also in creating new ideas and influencing decisions across the sporting system.”