Youth Forum blog: Lizzy Elleray
Youth Panel member Lizzy Elleray is a 21-year-old dental student from the University of Manchester. She has written a blog about her first meeting with the England Athletics Youth Panel.
I decided to apply for the Youth Panel as I am the president of my University recreational running club and would like to be able to input my ideas into the projects that England Athletics are involved in and particularly develop running for young people. I was at first hesitant to get involved with the panel as I am not an athlete or from the athletics background, however I felt really welcome in the panel and everyone was really engaged and interested in my ideas.
The day started off in Birmingham where we began our introductions with the Panel. We had 8 representatives from the Youth Panel, 4 newbies and 4 original members along with 2 England Athletics staff. It was great to see how each of us are interested in Sport Development and how we represent different areas of England as well as diverse backgrounds of athletics and running.
In the morning we had an interesting talk from Dan Parkinson from England Athletics, about RunTogether. Currently, RunTogether have around 40,089 registered runners that use RunTogether to find running groups across England. As a panel we discussed how we could market this for young people and it was great to see them take our ideas on board. Our ideas included targeting Colleges and Universities to set up their own running clubs, promotion through social media, and offering the opportunity for paid training courses. We are looking forward to seeing how as a Youth Panel we can develop running for younger people.
In the afternoon we discussed one of England Athletics new incentives for youth volunteering, Game Changers. We had the task of discussing how we can get more young people involved in volunteering. Our ideas included offering incentives for young people to volunteer and carry on volunteering, allowing the hours to be logged officially so that it could be recognised by universities and employers as well as setting up a mentoring scheme within clubs to encourage young people to become engaged.
Overall it was a very interesting afternoon and it was great to meet likeminded people passionate about sport. We are looking forward to meeting up in December and discussing our progress and other projects that England Athletics are involved in.