Creating opportunities for youth voices to be heard

At the Youth Sport Trust, we believe passionately young people and youth voices must be part of conversations about things that impact them – not just seated at the table but empowered to lead.

We were therefore delighted to provide members of our Youth Board, participants from the Youth Summit we hosted earlier in the year and representatives from the National Youth Sport Forum with the opportunity to attend a roundtable discussion with the Minister for Sport Stuart Andrew MP, and former England rugby union international Ugo Monye in his capacity as co-chair of the National Physical Activity Task Force.

The roundtable – linked to the Task Force’s work to encourage a greater focus on increasing activity levels – provided a platform for young people to share their own experiences relating to sport and physical activity, highlight why regular opportunities to be active are so important, and identify some of the key barriers that mean less than half (47%) of young people are active for 60 minutes each day.

The conversation covered a range of different topics including making opportunities inclusive and accessible, access to facilities, and how to effectively embed regular opportunities in both schools and communities.

Taking place on the same day as Active Lives Children and Young People Survey data showed that there are still inequalities in activity, discussion also focused on using stories and case studies that are relatable and demonstrate what can be achieved.

As observers in the room, we were inspired by how passionately and eloquently the young leaders around the table made their case, as well as their commitment to creating more opportunities for current and future generations.

All were able to articulate what they have achieved and how they have benefitted from being active, including through sport, and share our ambition of giving every child the opportunity to access high-quality, engaging PE, sport and play. As we move towards an election, we look forward to continuing to support our young leaders to drive the conversation and make sure policymakers are focused on children and young people’s needs.

Published on 9 December 2023