Twenty young people from across Scotland will play a crucial role in developing sport over the next two years.
And Perthshire will be playing a starring role after sportscotland named two from the region in its Young People’s Sport Panel.
Louis Gallagher and Molly Sands, both from the Perth area, have been selected from 172 applicants to be part of the fifth cohort of the Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP) after a rigorous recruitment process.
The group will now work to provide a voice for young people to influence and shape the future of sport in Scotland and raise its profile, in an initiative led by sportscotland and supported by Young Scot.
Crucial to the programme is that young people are heard and have the opportunity to influence decision making and drive change across the sporting system.
Louis is in sixth year at Perth Academy where he is the head boy and also a cricket coach. He plays football for Scone Thistle and cricket for Perth Doo’cot Cricket Club.
The 17-year-old said: “I can’t wait to get started on the panel. It’s a great opportunity and I hope we can work well together to make a real difference over the next two years.
“I hope I can bring my own experiences into the role having been involved with a lot of sport in Perth over the years.”
Molly is in third year at Perth High School and at 14 is one of the youngest panel members. She plays hockey for Perthshire Hockey Club and swims for Fife Synchronised Swimming Club.
“I’m really excited to be a member of the panel and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to help shape the way sport is done and viewed in Scotland,” she explained.
The recruitment process began in January when applications were submitted by 172 young people between the ages of 14 and 23 from 29 of the 32 local authority areas.
Interviews were delayed due to COVID-19 but the first interviews took place online in July with the second interviews in September.
A National Lottery funded programme, the YPSP is part of sportscotland’s commitment to provide a legacy of confident and well-trained young people who will become the next generation of leaders to help take the sporting system forward.
The panel’s first meeting is scheduled for early December where the panel will get to know each other and the sportscotland team.
Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “I want to congratulate our 20 new panel members. They have already shown capability beyond their years by coming through an extremely challenging recruitment process.
“I look forward to working closely with them and hearing their ideas for how the sporting system in Scotland can improve, I have no doubt they will have a positive impact.”
“The Young People’s Sport Panel is a programme we are very proud of and it has helped develop young people for eight years, it wouldn’t be possible without the National Lottery and lottery players.”
Louise Macdonald OBE, chief executive of Young Scot, said: “Congratulations to the new Young People’s Sport Panel members.
“I am excited to see what the future brings – as you shape, influence and raise the profile of sport in Scotland.”
The continued success of the Young People’s Sport Panel grants is made possible thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.