New report gives insight into youth boards

The Youth Sport Trust has supported Sport and Recreation Alliance to develop the Young Board Members report

Insight into engaging young stakeholders has today been launched by Sport and Recreation Alliance in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.

The Young Board Members (YBM) report is designed to help organisations engage with their young stakeholders and showcase great practice from across the sector.

The report talks about the importance of stakeholder engagement in 'The Principles of Good Governance' for sport and recreation and the impact it can have on organisational success.

It discusses how offering a platform for young people’s voices to be heard has many benefits. For example, they can provide strategic guidance, encourage objectivity and fresh perspectives, and build a pipeline of future leaders in organisations.

By developing the YBM report, Sport and Recreation Alliance wanted to uncover how organisations engage with their young stakeholders, and examine the impact this had on their overall work.

Nine organisational case studies from across the sector have been included in the report, including British Cycling, Welsh Rugby Union, Kick It Out, and England Golf. Each of them are at different stages of developing their youth board, meaning the report should have relevant examples which are relatable. Table Tennis England launched its Young Ambassador Programme in 2016, while the Rugby Football Union established its Youth Council in 2009 and has already made structural changes.

It is hoped all case studies will provide key learnings for businesses and organisations.

The Youth Sport Trust offered guidance on leadership skills such as team working and communication. Developing a young person’s leadership skills are an important part of helping them to grow personally and professionally.

Sport England’s (SE) recent Active Lives Adult survey found that 15% of adults (ages 16+) volunteered at least twice in the last year. The results also show that volunteering led to positive associations with mental wellbeing, individual development, and social and community development. The findings show the value of a young volunteer’s role and the potential impact they can have on themselves and the wider community. 

Youth boards are an important step towards achieving board diversity and advancing the standard of governance in the sector. Improving diversity at a youth board level can be a first step towards creating a talent pathway in organisations. 

To read the full report, click here.

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