Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, sportscotland Chair, Louise Martin CBE, and 2012 Olympic hockey bronze medallist Laura Bartlett, today (Thursday, 25 October) encouraged more of Scotland's young people to follow the example of inspirational Young Ambassadors.
The Minister was addressing the sportscotland and Youth Sport Trust Young Ambassador conference at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA) in Edinburgh.
Launched in 2009, Young Ambassadors is a programme that encourages 14-17 year-olds to take the lead in encouraging greater sports participation and awareness of the benefits of sport in their own schools. Managed by sportscotland in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, Young Ambassadors achieve this by initiatives that include setting up after-school sports clubs and activities, as well as addressing fellow pupils at school assemblies.
Today's annual conference, delivered by experienced Young Ambassadors and inspirational sporting figures, like Team GB hockey player Laura Bartlett, Paralympics GB wheelchair tennis player Kevin Simpson, Winter Olympic curler Ewan MacDonald, and Scottish record holder and Olympic hammer thrower Shirley Addison, is the last of a series of eight events to be staged throughout Scotland.
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: "The success of The Young Ambassador programme continues to grow year on year, and it is wonderful to see so many young people who are passionate about promoting and developing sport in Scotland.
"With the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games now very much on the horizon, it is a golden opportunity to capitalise on the enthusiasm for sport, which is evident across the country and sportscotland, in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, is committed to helping deliver a lasting legacy from the Games.
"Through the Young Ambassadors programme, Scotland's young people can become role models for their whole community by promoting increased participation in sport and healthier lifestyles."
Alison Oliver, Director of Sport at the Youth Sport Trust, which is responsible for delivering the programme said: "The key part of this programme is that young people are inspiring and leading their peers; it's a powerful message and the initiative really does demonstrate the influence they can have as role models. Young people were a central part of Lord Coe's winning bid and these Ambassadors really are leading the way and helping to deliver that lasting legacy by inspiring people in their schools and communities."
Young Ambassador, Natalie Still said: "Being a Young Ambassador has given me so many opportunities to get involved in sport and build my confidence for the future, the one piece of advice I have is just to say yes to every opportunity you get!"