Education: Perth High School

Sport: Hockey and Synchronised Swimming

Club: Perthshire Hockey Club and Fife Synchronised Swimming Club

Hobbies: I love listening to, and discovering new music and I  play harp and bass guitar. I volunteer with a local charity S.H.I.P (Support, Help and Integration in Perthshire) and really enjoy working with the young people there.

Proudest achievement: Being selected to train with the 13-15 Scottish Synchro Squad in 2019.

Future aspirations: In the future I’d like to study law and pursue a career in that field.

Interesting fact: I love outdoor activities and once had to be rescued after an unfortunate SUP boarding incident of the coast of Spain.


Q&A with Molly 


What sports are you involved in and what is it that you love about them?

Hi everyone, I am Molly Sands and I’m 15 years old and from Perth. I’ve played hockey for just under 6 years through Perthshire Hockey Club and my school. I really enjoy competing in matches and have umpired a few junior tournaments. My other sport is synchronised swimming which I’ve done for 5 years with Fife Synchronised Swimming Club and in 2019 I trained with my age group's Scottish synchro squad. I’ve performed both duets and team routines at the Scottish club championships and would like to perform a solo in the future. Although I’m only competitive in hockey and synchro, I also enjoy kayaking and climbing. Outside of sports, I love music and play harp and bass guitar.

What motivated you to be part of the Young People’s Sport Panel?

Exploring the different benefits sport has on young people’s development has always really interested me. The Young People’s Sport Panel seemed like a great opportunity to have my voice heard, and help promote and shape the way we do sport in Scotland. Sport has changed so much due to the pandemic which has added an extra dimension to my participation in this initiative.

What do you think of the YPSP so far and what work are you involved in?

So far, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the other panel members and discussing different projects that we might want to work on in the future. We’re all eager to get started and already have a few project groups set up. Everyone brings something unique to the table and it’s great to have all these different views and experiences to pull from. I can’t wait to see what we achieve in the next couple of years.

What do you think are (some of) the big challenges facing young people in Scotland today?

Young people’s mental health is such an important and relevant topic at the moment. After the strange year of lockdowns and let-downs, we need to destigmatise speaking openly about our mental health and encourage people to seek the support they need. I also feel that the current narrative of a ‘lost generation’ due to the pandemic needs to be stopped. We need to reframe the narrative from a deficit model to a proactive model. We’ve had to adapt and adopt new ways of working but that doesn’t mean that we’ve lost a year. Young people have developed new skills, not only in technology but also in ways of connecting and working together, these are life skills. Reinforcing the deficit model could create a self-fulfilling negative prophecy. I think sport plays a major role in the process of getting back to normal and allowing life to return to how it was.

How do you think sport can help support young people in Scotland?

Sport provides many benefits and opportunities for young people in Scotland. The physical benefits that result in young people being healthier and more active are recognised by all, but the mental and social factors are equally beneficial. As someone who’s been involved in the sporting world for years, I’ve found that the skills I have from sports are applicable to many other aspects of life. Both training sessions, competitions, and matches are easy places to meet and socialise with new people as there is a clear shared interest. This creates a welcome community and support network within each sport.

If you could change one thing about sport in Scotland, what would it be?

Sports accessibility is an area I’m very passionate about. I’d like to work on providing opportunities for young people from any background to get involved with sport, as well as ensuring that there are resources available to allow their continued participation. Making sport affordable for young people in areas of deprivation, and closing the gap, is one of my goals that would allow sport to be an attainable aspiration for all.

Is there a role model who inspires you? What is it about them that you admire?

Venus Williams has always been a massive inspiration to me. She was faced with racism and sexism and still climbed to the top of her sport. Additionally, she’s not only an incredible athlete but also launched her own clothing brand which empowers other women. The fact that she also competes with her own sister and doesn’t let it affect their relationship is another amazing factor.

Date published: 19 November 2020
Date updated: 08 December 2021


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