ATS Young People’s Forum celebrate an exciting first year

Saturday 31st December 2022

‘Save the Date’ for ATS Young People’s Forum conference

The Athletics Trust Scotland Young People’s Forum (ATS YPF) has been up and running now for just over a year . . . and what a year it has been!

Led by Erin Gillen (Springburn Harriers), 15 members representing more than 10 different clubs met for the first time (virtually) in December 2021 and subsequently then gathered in Glasgow for their first face-to-face meeting in January 2022 to start putting together their two-year Action Plan.

Fast forward a year, and it has been great to watch how each one of the young people has grown and developed both as individuals as together as a team.

Meetings have been both educational (with sessions delivered on both mental health and leadership skills) and fun-filled with team-building games and icebreakers.

The YPF have been working on projects as a group and individually at their own clubs, with the two main areas of focus being mental health and the retention of young people in athletics.

Members of the Forum are also provided with the opportunity for personal development by getting involved with volunteering at our events and learning about other areas of the organisation.

Athletics Trust Scotland backs our Young People’s Forum

In October 2021, Athletics Trust Scotland announced their sponsorship support for the Forum. ATS will support the YPF and contribute to costs associated with the ongoing running of the Forum including the first National Young People’s Forum Conference (taking place on Saturday 11 March).

It has been a busy first year with the young people being involved in several initiatives including:

  • Volunteering at Track and Field Events, including shadowing the Start Team
  • Writing articles and producing vlogs on their volunteering experiences at events/competitions
  • Attending the scottishathletics National Club Conference, delivering their own workshop. They also took part in round table discussions.
  • Being part of a focus group for the re-branding of the scottishathletics Run, Jump, Throw, Push initiative.
  • Engaging in a workshop by Robert Nesbitt from SAMH around mental health with further sessions planned to develop resources
  • Engaging in a workshop by Guy Richardson from Eiger Performance on Leadership with Impact, aimed to get the young people reflecting on what a good leader should be and what type of leader they will be.
  • Taking part in a Changing Lives workshop led by scottishathletics National Club Manager, Cara Shearer.

The members have also come up with their own ideas on how they can take some initiatives back to their own clubs to help and support young athletes for example:

  • Two members have joined their own club committee to give updates on the YPF and be the voice for young athletes, coaches and volunteers.
  • One young member leads on the club’s social media now
  • Setting up a buddy system for new and younger athletes both within their clubs, and at competitions.
  • Set up a Club Young People’s Development Group and produced surveys for young club members

There have also been several other initiatives that the members have been involved in.

Law and District athlete, Jessica Robson, wrote an article for Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which was published in both our PB magazine (see above) and by Kyniska Advocacy.

Jessica has since organised an eating disorder webinar for three clubs to attend and is now part of a working group with SAMH around eating disorders.

Together with two other YPF members, she supported Kyniska in developing a female health survey and has since continued to be involved with the organisation alongside another member.

Finn Boyd wrote a blog on how taking part in running and becoming involved in Parkrun as Run Director has helped to transform his life.

His inspiring story was published on both the Parkrun and the Athletics Trust Scotland websites. Finn is a club member of Maryhill Harriers and Glasgow Front Runners.

To round off a great year, a ‘Save the Date’ promoting the first Young People’s Forum Conference was announced just before Christmas 2022.

The plans for the conference are already in full swing, and we look forward to being able to announce our first guest speaker in due course.

The gathering will be held in the Emirates Arena on Saturday 11 March 2023, starting at 10am, with a networking opportunity prior to that, and will run through to 3.30pm (exact timings are subject to confirmation).

Bookings/registrations will open at the end of January/beginning of February.

With thanks to Fran Snitjer

Tags: ATS Young People's Forum, Young People's Forum

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