Education: Robert Gordon University (Applied Sports and Exercise Science)
Coaching and volunteering: Scottish Disability Sport Young Person Sport Panel, Young Start programme, swimming coach
Hobbies: Reading books, Netflix , meeting friends and exploring different places, learning new things
Proudest achievement: Achieving my first Scottish para-swimming record
Future aspirations: Qualify for the Commonwealth Games; increase participation in sport and make sport more accessible for young people; graduate with an honours degree
Interesting fact: Can lick my elbow!
Q&A with Laura
What sport(s) are you involved in and what is it that you love about it?
I am involved within swimming and swim with Falkirk Integrated Regional Swim Team (F.I.R.S.T). I love swimming due to how technical the sport is and always trying to get better each day. I also love the freedom of movement I have in the water as well as the amazing friendships I have made through the sport.
What motivated you to be part of the Young People’s Sport Panel?
I wanted to have a positive influence within Scottish sport and make an impact on others by helping more individuals get access to sport. Sport has had such a big impact on my life, and I wanted to have the opportunity to give back because of everything that sport has given me.
What do you think of the YPSP so far and what work are you involved in?
I love being part of the YPSP, it is a great group to be part of and I have enjoyed hearing everyone’s experiences and ideas. Despite being online so far, the panel have continued to connect and move forward with the start of subgroup project work. I have also had the opportunity to walk and talk with Stewart Harris, host #Sporthour, and connect with Young Scot, which has been amazing.
What do you think are (some of) the big challenges facing young people in Scotland today?
Coming out of the pandemic I think that mental health will be a huge challenge for young people and getting access to support surrounding this.
As well as transitioning out of school into their next venture whether that be work, higher education, apprenticeships, etc. and knowing how to make these transitions and handling the pressure that can come with these.
How do you think sport can help support young people in Scotland?
I think sport can give young people a place to let off steam, relax and have fun. The benefits of sport mentally and socially are huge and can be overlooked by young people. I think the support of the sporting community is invaluable and being a part of that for young people is so important.
If you could change one thing about sport in Scotland, what would it be?
Make all clubs fully inclusive to every individual
Is there a role model who inspires you? What is it about them that you admire?
Toni Shaw is a great role model within para swimming with her determination and commitment to the sport. She also gives back to the next generation of Scottish Swimmers by being one of the Learn to Swim ambassadors.