Sport and Recreation Alliance introduce Youth Advisory Panel

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The Sport and Recreation Alliance is pleased to announce the launch of a Youth Advisory Panel to support its work to get children engaged in physical activity.

We recognise that young people should have a say in decisions that will affect them and are committed to championing this by putting young people at the heart of the Alliance’s work.

The Panel will be formed of 10-12 young people who are passionate about youth representation, have a range of experiences in sport and physical activity and want to make sure that their generation decides how opportunities are developed and delivered for them in future.

They will advise and guide the Alliance’s work around children and young people, focusing particularly on the #RightToBeActive campaign.

Valerie Copenhagen, Head of Participation at UK Deaf Sport will chair the Panel, to act as lead facilitator.

Valerie has lots of experience in removing the boundaries to physical activity and has knowledge of working with children, having started her career at the National Deaf Children’s Society and volunteered in national roles around Youth Participation at Girlguiding UK.

Looking ahead, Valerie said: “I am delighted to be taking on this vitally important role for the Alliance.

“We want a nation of active youngsters and putting children themselves at the heart of the decision making which will influence and impact how they are supported, will help us achieve this.

“I am a firm believer in the power of sport and recreation to improve the lives of children, making them happier and healthier. This Panel will provide the Alliance with invaluable insight to help shape their future work in making the sector more inclusive.”

Director of Policy at the Sport and Recreation Alliance, James Allen added: “Sport England’s Active Lives survey published yesterday, showed that as a sector we must be working together to provide a voice for youngsters.

 “The fact that 82% of children are not meeting activity guidelines set by government shows the scale of crisis we face. We need a fresh approach. By putting the voice of children at the centre of our work, we can better understand the needs and wants of young people to make a real difference.

“Our Young Board Members report, released earlier this year, recommends the creation of an autonomous board which allows a diverse range of voices from young people to be heard. We are proud to be putting this into practice.

 “Creating a Youth Advisory Panel will allow us to engage with the group who matter most and offer better support to our members in tackling inactivity by encouraging and sharing best practice.”

The Panel will meet for the first time in early 2019 as they help us develop our work with children and young people. Find out more about our Youth Advisory Panel, how you can get involved and apply here.