Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons blogs about the BP Young Leaders Programme 2014

Edinburgh Dec 2013 2

Earlier this week I made my way down to the Inspiring Scotland offices where I spent the day assisting Craig Heap in delivering a workshop to seven of the young people on the BP Young Leaders Programme 2014. The young people had made it down to Edinburgh from all across Scotland and we had representatives present from Action For Children, Aberdeen Foyer and Shetland.

The aim of the workshop was to get as much feedback out of the young people as possible in order to help guide and support the programme moving forward.

Edinburgh Dec 2013 1

Before we began, Craig had everyone write down the last time they had played (had fun), brought the right attitude to a situation, made someone’s day and was truly there! Everyone came up with some great situations and it made us realise that these four things are extremely important and actually quite easy to achieve. By the end of the day we had people fighting to see who could make someone’s day by making them a cup of tea.

We began the workshop by looking at the positives, negatives, improvements to be made and benefits of the training day in Glasgow last month. It was great to see that all of the young people had lots of positives they wanted to voice about the day, and only a few negatives, and these were mostly related around the food available on the day, so not bad at all. And it now looks like we might be getting pizza next time so there’s already a bonus!

Edinburgh Dec 2013 3

The young people loved the team building games (as much as us athletes I think) and wanted something like this at the beginning of all training days to break the ice and help everyone to relax. The young people made it clear how much they enjoyed having the athletes at the training day and wanted this to be a permanent feature at all forthcoming events. It was lovely to hear how we as the athletes had not only inspired them but had made them feel more at ease going into their Commonwealth Games interviews.

Next up the young people shared with us what they had been up to in their local areas since the last training day. They had been getting up to all sorts of things from charity runs,  to planting trees in their community, to training up to be first aid qualified. I was really impressed with just how much the young leaders had been doing for their communities but even more impressed with how enthused they were when talking about what they had been up to and when explaining their upcoming plans.

We then went on to discuss what qualities we thought made a good leader. The young leaders came up with a vast list, and reassuringly they already possessed many of these skills and attributes.

Craig and I asked the young leaders what opportunity’s they would like in the future. Alongside being taught how to deal with disengaged peers, young people with disabilities and taboo subjects like drugs and sex the top opportunities they would like were to visit the Commonwealth Games venues prior to them beginning their voluntary work, to collect more athlete autographs and to spend a day in the life of an athlete. I think it’s fair to say the athletes are making a real positive impact on the young leaders.

The last area discussed was communication and how we could enhance this. They decided Facebook was the way forward and that they would like to make a private group for all of the young leaders to join where they could share ideas, photos and what they have been up to in their local communities.

The young people then presented their findings from the day to a room full of the Young Leaders delivery partners. They did a great job and got their points across clearly and effectively.

I had a fantastic day, the young leaders were great and put maximum effort in all day and for me it was a great opportunity to work alongside Craig and to see how the pros do things. This was only my second time working with the DKH Legacy Trust and I found it really helpful getting tips and ideas from one of the Trust’s most experienced athlete mentors. Thanks Craig.


Young Leaders from Edinburgh and Falkirk celebrate completing a community sports leadership award

A group of seven Young Leaders taking part in the BP Young Leaders Programme 2014, who are from Edinburgh and Falkirk, have been celebrating the completion of 32 hours of training for their Community Sports Leadership Level 2 Award.  This course, run by Sports Leaders UK, has taught the group how to develop their confidence, improve their communication skills and work as part of a team to deliver and promote sports sessions to younger children.

Young Leader Adele, 17, said: “Sports Leadership has really helped my confidence and I have learnt a lot more about health and fitness.  It’s also been great to meet new people”.

As well as 32 hours of training, the Young Leaders, who joined via delivery partner Action For Children, also have to deliver 10 hours of sports and/or activity  in the community.  They have already accumulated a few hours by putting together two sports sessions for a group of 12 primary school children.  The Young Leaders had to plan each session so that they included a warm up, a skills game, a main game and a cool down.  The kids loved it so much they asked if it was on the following Friday!

19 year old Young Leader Michael said: “The course was a really great experience and I would recommend other people to do it”.  

Young people in Edinburgh yesterday with athletes Gemma Gibbons and Craig Heap

BP Young Leaders in Edinburgh Dec 2013

Craig Heap and Gemma Gibbons ran a session in Edinburgh yesterday for young people from Shetland, Aberdeen and Glasgow to get their input on how the BP Young Leaders Programme 2014 will run. Pictured from left to right: Denzel, Kimberley, Craig Heap, Conor, Rebecca, Gemma Gibbons, Jamie, Anthony and Katie. A big thank you to all of them for coming, and for all their hard work throughout the day. Many thanks also to Inspiring Scotland for hosting us all, and it was great to get together with the DKH Legacy Trust and delivery partners Inspiring Scotland, Aberdeen Foyer, Action For Children and a consortium for Shetland Islands Council.

Young people to help shape the BP Young Leaders Programme 2014 with the support of Gemma Gibbons and Craig Heap

The input of young people in the planning of the programme is crucial to the success of the BP Young Leaders Programme 2014. That’s why, on Monday 16 December, athletes Gemma Gibbons and Craig Heap will be running a workshop in Edinburgh to get feedback from young people about how the programme is going so far, and how to make it the best it can be.  

Gemma Gibbons is a British Judoka and won an Olympic silver medal at London 2012

Gemma Gibbons

Craig Heap is a retired Commonwealth Games Gold medal winning gymnast, who has represented England over 100 times in various international gymnastic competitions.

Craig Heap