Jess Lonnen

YST Jess Lonnen

Sport has always been an essential part of my life. From an early age, I have been involved in horse riding, and the community surrounding it has been the best support I can think of. Having such a large group of like- minded people around me has provided me with great friendships, role models and a safety net I can always fall back on, should I need it. And from trying out other sports, I’ve recognised that this community that comes from people taking part in physical activity, experiencing wins and losses as a group, is a universal quality that sport brings.

With PE at my secondary school, the idea of belonging in a group is much the same. My PE teachers are incredibly enthusiastic, always willing to give advice on both sport- related and completely random topics, and this has allowed so many students to feel confident and safe. With GCSE exams looming, the understanding that they have somewhere to go to take their minds away from the pressures of exams is vital for so many students. Just by having a chat about the last netball match, or by playing a quick game of badminton, our thoughts become far more positive and optimistic.

But, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many students feel intimidated by the prospect of sports or don’t have a community they can turn to, to relieve the burden of stress, allowing negative thoughts to spiral out of control. I would love to help show these young people that sport is for everyone, and allow them to tap into the brilliant ethos that I have had the privilege of experiencing throughout my life. The opportunity to get involved in a sports club should be available to all young people, so they can experience that fantastic wealth of support and knowledge, and providing a welcoming atmosphere surrounding sports in schools can really help.

Jess Lonnen
YST Youth Board Member
Cambridgeshire