Life changing

Supporting young people through sport

Every time you buy a National Lottery ticket or Scratchcard you are helping to support thousands of community sports groups across the UK.

Rhona, a member of the SportScotland’s Young Person’s Sports Panel explains the impact that sport has had on her confidence, friendships and school work and why National Lottery funding is vital helping sports projects across the nation.

My sporting origins

“I've been involved in sport for as long as I can remember. I’ve been on school ski trips, volunteered as a coach in athletics, hockey, and dancing and participate in track and field, sea kayaking and girls hockey, where I am captain.

“Sport plays a hugely significant part in my life and has helped me cross mental and physical health barriers, support academic progress and gain confidence socially. I struggled a lot in Primary school, but when I moved up to high school I came to grips with my dyslexia, mostly aided by my involvement in sport.”

How sport has helped me

“Sport gave me a break. I was full of anxiety and worry in every classroom situation. It felt like an almost impossible environment to learn effectively in, let alone be myself and make friends. Luckily, sport was key to changing this aspect of my life. When I joined an athletics club it helped me build a support system. Despite athletics being an individual sport, we all train together and our successes as individuals is celebrated by everyone. Joining a sport club meant I was being introduced to people who I could instantly relate to, sharing a love for the sport and being committed to it together.”

What I have overcome

“There were challenges to taking up sport. It took time for me to be at ease when I first started the club. I questioned whether I was good enough to be there. Was I fit enough to even finish a session? But I honestly believe that it's not about how good you are but how good you can be and want to be. In training I am taught by my coaches to strive not for perfection, but improvement through progress. It's important to remember everyone has to start somewhere.

“Competing at different levels from the UK Youth Development League final to International Youth Games in Sweden, I still feel nervous and scared. But by putting myself on the line I am constantly able to prove to myself that I am able and I strive to be a better, stronger and faster version of myself.”

That for me is the beauty of sport: risk a little in the prospect of gaining a lot.

Give it a go

“If you are on the verge of trying out or joining a team I urge you to do so. You don’t know until you have tried, you may discover a hidden talent you didn’t even know you had, you may make loads of new friends, you may develop confidence that will get you through school. I recommend a team sport in particular if the social aspect appeals to you, because being on a field with my hockey team and feeling united in all having the same goal is amazing.

“Sport brings people together – be a part of it!”

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