Education: University of Stirling
Sport: Recreational Rugby
Coaching and volunteering: Sports coach and volunteer for Inspire Stirling
Hobbies: Supporting Fife Flyer (Hockey Team)
Proudest achievement: Being selected to go and represent Fife Active Schools in Sweden for one week. As a rugby coach my placement was in local school but I also got the chance to work with local and national rugby teams.
Future aspirations: My main life goal is to become a PE teacher it is also my goal to own my gym , creating an environment that encourages and motivates people to become the best version of themselves.
Interesting fact: I love Scottish country dancing
Q&A with Paige
What sport are you involved in and what is it that you love about it?
During high school I helped develop the first all-girls rugby team, ever since then, my love for rugby has grown. Although right now I am no longer participating in the game, every weekend I go to watch one of my favourite teams play, Currie Chieftains. There are so many things that I love about the game, both playing and spectating but my favourite thing would be the sportsmanship of the game. Ice Hockey is another sport that I watch every weekend, my local team is the Fife Flyers - the thing I love most about watching games is the atmosphere in the stadiums, and the community of supporters. Although right now I am not a player, sport plays a major role in my life. I am a self-employed coach who works with partners like Active Schools to provide targeted provisional coaching - this work allows me to showcase the benefits and opportunities that being involved in sport provides. Recently I have been recruited as the Youth Development Coordinator for Fife (SSF) and my role is to use sport and physical activity as a tool to support and provide opportunities to disadvantaged young people.
What motivated you to be part of the Young People’s Sport Panel?
I wanted to be a part of the change, and help make a difference. Through high school, my experience with physical education was negative and if it wasn't for my Active Schools Coordinator I would not be involved in sport. I know right now there are a lot of young people in similar positions, they have not been shown the true benefits of being involved in sport. Sport helped me find myself, it helped me through difficult times, and it opened a window of opportunities for me. I was attracted to YPSP as it provided me with the opportunity nationally to let my voice be heard, to show those young people at the side lines that there is hope.
What do you think of the YPSP so far and what work are you involved in?
YPSP so far has educated me on so much. Being from Fife and being heavily involved in their Active Schools Programme I didn't know anything beyond that - YPSP has given me the opportunity to widen my network and speak to other local authorities on their Active Schools programme, for example, I spoke with Active Schools Stirling to find out their layout and delivery of the programme. It also allowed me to make connections within my own local area, before the Sports Panel I didn't know anything about Community Hubs, I am now in regular contact with my local officer and have done some filming project work with him.
What do you think are (some of) the big challenges facing young people in Scotland today?
Across my coaching, especially coaching with Scottish Sports Future, I am aware of the negative impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences & mental health issues that young people face. These issues are now more common than ever and affect young people in many ways. It is important that we keep spreading awareness around mental health and support programmes that help buffer these issues.
How do you think sport can help support young people in Scotland?
Sport and physical activity are tools that we can use to improve our lives. Research suggests that sport and physical activity releases 'feel-good hormones and reduce stress - this is just one way that sport can positively impact young people's lives. Sport also opens a community in which young people can find like-minded people that share the same interested, I have met my best friends through the sport. Due to the pandemic and isolation, this sense of belonging and community that sport provides can really improve the lives of young people. Finally, sport can provide an outlet for difficult situations that young people may be facing.
If you could change one thing about sport in Scotland, what would it be?
This is a difficult question, sportscotland is doing so much to provide opportunities for young people and is constantly improving the lives of young people. One thing I would change would be the male to female ratio in the National Sporting organisations directorate of board members. Although some national bodies have a fair representation, others have only 1 female board member. Having a consistent fair representation of females in decision-making positions acts as a positive role model for young aspiring women.
Is there a role model who inspires you? What is it about them that you admire?
Every day I find new inspirations in sport - that's the thing I love most about it! Someone who has always inspired me is my dad, he always strives to do his very best and is constantly looking for ways in which he can challenge himself and his capabilities within his work. This has taught me so much, having him as a role model and supporter in everything I do really helps me succeed :)