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Helping Young People Into Sport

19th September 2012

New ways to increase physical activity levels in young people will be examined by the Scottish Government.

Sport Minister Shona Robison confirmed today that the Government will develop a Youth Sport Strategy to boost physical activity and participation in sport, for pre-school children to further and higher education students.

To support the Strategy, the first ever Young People's Sports Panel has been established, comprising 16 people between the ages of 14 and 24 who are passionate about sport and want to make a difference. (photos available, see below)

The Panel will engage young people across Scotland to find ways of increasing the profile of school sport and getting more young people motivated and involved in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. sportscotland, in partnership with Young Scot have developed the Panel.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament, Sport Minister Shona Robison said:

"The Olympics and Paralympics have fired young minds to be champions and we all know sport and physical activity gives huge amounts of pleasure to young people and improves their health, attainment and life chances.

"Our Active Schools Network is opening up new sporting opportunities for young people and we have increased our investment in PE. But with the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and Glasgow bidding to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018, we need to make sure we are giving young people every chance to participate and succeed in sport.

"The Strategy we will now develop will look at what more needs to be done to make sport and physical activity a habit that stays with young people throughout their lives. That could mean making PE lessons in school more enjoyable, making sure we offer older secondary pupils a reason to keep active while sitting exams, or forging better links with local sport clubs.

"Young people will be at the heart of this work, feeding in their experiences and helping ensure we deliver the best, most appropriate opportunities to all of our young people and future generations."

Young People's Sports Panel Member Meghan Plummer: "Being part of the Young People's Sport Panel will give me the opportunity to help inform and shape the future of Scottish sport, making it accessible for everyone from all walks of life to get involved. It's great to work with like-minded passionate people who want to make things happen. I know we are all excited about influencing the future of school sport in Scotland."

Cllr Douglas Chapman, COSLA Education, Children and Young People spokesperson said:"It is important that we build on this highly successful summer of sport. Not everyone will be an Olympic athlete but participation in sport at any level is both enjoyable and can deliver a range of health benefits. Local authorities have a big role to play at helping people of all ages become more active. This year local government committed to delivering in schools two hours or two periods of PE by 2014, and I look forward to taking our work with the Scottish Government on sport and physical activity further by helping with the development of the Youth Sport Strategy."

sportscotland, in partnership with Young Scot have developed the first ever Young People's Sport Panel. The Panel presents a national platform to represent the voice of young people across Scotland. Members will work together and autonomously to shape and influence the future of sport in Scotland and be involved in raising the profile of sport.

The Scottish Government's Take Life On campaign promotes the benefits of children participating in exercise every day. The initiative highlights simple steps parents can take to help their children get active and achieve health benefits as a result. For more information See:

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