Active in Mind
12-year-old Ruby James from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales is one of the 21,216 young people to benefit from the strategies taught on the Youth Sport Trust’s Active in Mind programme in England and Wales since the programme began. When Ruby’s teacher at Pen Y Dre High School, Megan Caple, spotted Ruby was shy, lacking confidence and finding it hard to adjust to life at secondary school, she immediately signed Ruby up to the charity’s Active in Mind programme where she worked with the charity’s athlete mentors.
After School Sport Club
Kate Stubley is mum to 11-year-old Ella Emmanuel, they live in Bromley. Ella plays for U12s Crystal Palace Football Club and absolutely lives for sport. The recent national restrictions have been really difficult for her as she has moved up to secondary school during the pandemic where there aren’t any school sports clubs that are run, and PE lessons have been extremely restricted. For a while, Ella’s football training and matches out of school were also not taking place. The lack of sport heavily impacted on her wellbeing in all areas of life. Ella got involved in the YST’s After School Sport Club prompted by her mum who came across the YST when she was having to self-isolate for 14 days.
Kate said: “When I contacted the Youth Sport Trust about our situation, they wholly understood and were able to provide ideas to keep active and have fun whilst self-isolating. My daughter and I first joined the session taken by the former professional footballer and Olympian Alistair Patrick-Heselton and thoroughly enjoyed the workout. The session was wonderful and hugely boosted my daughter. She was also absolutely delighted to receive a shout out from Alistair and says she will remember that forever!”
Active in Mind
14-year-old Amy Truelove from Nottingham is one of 7,000 young people to benefit from the strategies taught through our Active in Mind programme over the last three years. When Amy’s teacher at The Redhill Academy, Sarah Johnson, spotted Amy was finding it hard to make herself heard, was shy and lacking confidence on starting at the school, she immediately signed Amy up to Active in Mind.
Amy has Scoliosis, and following numerous operations, she found it hard to take part in PE and be part of school life. The pain management side of the condition also impacted her mental health.
She said: “When I moved up to secondary school, I was quiet, shy and found it hard to communicate with my teachers and couldn’t take part in PE lessons. I would get frustrated and not know how to process my emotions.
“Active in Mind has given me strategies for life. I feel more confident, not only in sports but also in school and everyday life. I feel happier and healthier both mentally and physically since starting it.”
Amy has now completed a level 1 sports leader course, teaching numerous groups of younger students about physical activity, and is a mentor on the programme supporting younger students who are experiencing similar difficulties she once faced.
18-year-old Rhea from Milton Keynes takes part in our Girls Active programme. Rhea attends Slated Row School.
She started cheerleading at secondary school and competing at competitions in Bournemouth and after hearing about and participating in the Girls Active programme, aspired to become a Girls Active leader for her school.
She said: "I have always liked watching YouTube fitness videos and l wanted to become a Girls Active leader one day and now my dreams have come true. I wanted to show how successful I could be in life and be supportive in Girls Active and encourage my friends to be motivated and to help them out and be a team member.
"I now sometimes get asked to lead the class. In cheerleading, we work as a whole team and we can get through everything together and l like helping them push themselves out of their comfort zone and help them to be the best."
Rhea wants to continue as a Girls Active leader because it motivates her to get moving and gives her opportunities to overcome her fears.
l wanted to become a Girls Active leader one day and now my dreams have come true.
16-year-old Billy from Derbyshire is being supported through Inclusion 2024. When he was younger, Billy was stopped from doing sport at school because of his special educational needs. With the help of his new school and Inclusion 2024, Billy is trying new things and finding his love for sport again.
Billy attends St Martins School and specialist setting Horizons. He said: “In my old school I wasn't allowed to do much sport and PE. My Tourette's and ADHD got me into trouble, and I was stopped from doing the things I like and am good at like running and football. When I went to sports clubs outside of school, I had bad experiences so stopped going after a few weeks.
“At St Martins and now Horizons, I have lots of opportunities to exercise and play sport. It really helps me with my tics and to focus on my work. Seeing other students with similar needs to mine competing in sports is really inspiring. I hope to be a good role model for other students and have learnt some Makaton signs to encourage younger students who struggle with their speech to take part in the SHOUTaboutSEND 5K.
“I was really proud to win gold in the national athletics championships, something I never thought I'd achieve.”
Billy hopes to be a sports coach and has a dream to represent his country in the 800m one day.
Seeing other students with similar needs to mine competing in sports is really inspiring. I hope to be a good role model for other students.