Jheanell Shirley

Jheanell is a member of the Youth Sport Trust Youth Board. Positioned at the heart of our organisation, our Youth Board represents and communicates the views of all young people to inform and enhance our work.

Jheanell Shirley - Youth Board member


Tell us about what do you currently do?
I am a year 13 student sixth form student studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the London Academy of Excellence.

I am a volunteer mentor for 16–18-year-olds with the organisation BADU Sports, and I am an ambassador on the Future Leaders Programme. I also do some blogging on current affairs.

Tell us about your sporting background?
I was put straight into gymnastics at the age of four and trampolining at the age of five and competed competitively in both. Later on while still continuing with those, I also started swimming, football and athletics at a competitive level. I made the decision after seven years to stop gymnastics and move onto cheerleading which is similar.

Moving into secondary school I stopped competing in those sports and focused on football at a school level, and trampolining at more regional events as well as cheerleading for three years up until the covid pandemic.

After the pandemic I continued competing in trampolining and went to regional championships. I’ve also gained my football coaching qualifications so I can now play a different role within the sporting industry.

What is your particular area of interest when it comes to accessing sport?
A particular interest of mine when it comes to accessing sport is inclusion.

Why did you want to become a member of the Youth Board?
I couldn’t help but feel extremely inspired after attending the Youth Summit 2023 at Loughborough. I am very passionate about youth voice and being young activists, which was echoed at the summit. Due to my huge involvement in sport, I believe I truly understand how powerful of a tool sport is and the huge role it can play when transforming lives and I was eager to find out how I can have a bigger impact on it by being a member of the Youth Board.

If you could change one thing about sport or physical activity for young people, what would that be?
I would change people’s attitudes and stereotypes attributed with each sport.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself.    
I am an extremely picky eater and die hard Arsenal fan. #NorthLondonForever