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Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence helps launch mission to build a team of young leaders for Glasgow 2014

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University of Stirling students and scholarship athletes helped launch the ground-breaking Lead 2014 youth leadership and volunteering campaign ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

More than 1,000 pupils and students the length and breadth of Scotland are gearing up to be part of the programme, launched today at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.

It will inspire hundreds of secondary school pupils and university students to use sport as the springboard to hone and develop their leadership skills and engage with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Lead 2014 – a partnership between sportscotland, Youth Sport Trust and Glasgow 2014, – will see pupils from 137 Scottish secondary schools gather during February and March at one of seven day-long conferences hosted by the Lead 2014 partner university in their area.

Stirling will host its conference on Thursday 22 March, with more than 200 pupils from schools across the community taking part.

The pupils will be mentored by university student volunteers in how to plan, organise and manage a Commonwealth Games themed sports festival. The pupils then take their new skills and knowledge back to their communities to organise a sports festival for their local primary schools.

Today’s launch saw two Stirling students, triathlete Grant Sheldon, a Mathematics student and swimmer Cameron Brodie, studying Sports Studies - who are aiming to be part of Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014 – stage a sports festival for a group of Stirling school pupils and university students.

Professor David Lavallee, Head of the School of Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “The University of Stirling is delighted to be a part of Lead 2014, which is an integral part of our extensive volunteering pathway. We are proud to have been pioneers of the programme and value the power of sport in developing the skills young people will use throughout their lives.”

David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014’s Chief Executive, said: “This is such a powerful way of inspiring and motivating our young people through sport to become the leaders and volunteers of tomorrow. Lead 2014 will capture the energy of the students to create a positive sporting legacy through empowerment and education in the run up to the Games. We hope we will see some of this year’s participants as volunteers at Glasgow 2014 and other future sporting events.”

Hazel Williamson, Development Manager for the Youth Sport Trust in Scotland, said: “The Youth Sport Trust believes that sport changes lives and the Lead 2014 programme is an excellent way to motivate and inspire young people in Scotland.  This initiative is a strong example of how sport can be used to develop a whole range of skills and benefit thousands of young people in so many different ways.”

Louise Martin, Chair of sportscotland, commented: “Lead 2014 is a fantastic opportunity to motivate and inspire young people to get involved with sport through volunteering and leadership.  It has never been so crucial to engage young people in sport with major home Games on the horizon and Lead 2014 can create a legacy of young people enthused about volunteering and the benefits it can bring to their lives.”

In addition to pupil and student education, the campaign also offers an information workshop for secondary school PE teachers and Active Schools Coordinators.

Background information

Lead 2014 began several years ago at the University of Stirling under the guise of Top Link and was run by Youth Sport Trust and sportscotland.  The campaign has been adopted as the main youth sports mentoring project in the lead up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

For more information on Lead 2014 at Stirling, visit: 
www.sportingexcellence.stir.ac.uk/take-part/coaching-courses/lead-2014

Athlete profiles
Grant Sheldon was crowned British Triathlon Junior Super Series Champion in 2011 following three impressive podium finishes, including at his hometown event and future Glasgow 2014 triathlon venue - the GE Strathclyde Park Junior Triathlon. His performances were further rewarded with a first international appearance for Great Britain at the European Junior Championships. Grant trains with triathlonscotland’s national squads and is currently studying Mathematics at the University of Stirling. He receives support from the University, from national sports scholarships Winning Students, triathlonscotland, British Triathlon and the sportscotland institute of sport. View Grant’s full profile at:www.sportingexcellence.stir.ac.uk/performance-sport/scholarships/profiles/2011-12/triathlon/grant-sheldon

Talented swimmer Cameron Brodie represented Team Scotland at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 100m and 200m Butterfly. The University of Stirling Sports Studies student bases his training at the British Swimming Intensive Training Centre (ITC) on campus, which includes a 50m pool and land conditioning suite. He is the current British Age Group champion at 200m Butterfly and was fifth at the 2011 British Senior Championships. A former national level rower, Cameron receives support from the University, Winning Students, Scottish Swimming, British Swimming and from the sportscotland institute of sport. View Cameron’s full profile at: www.sportingexcellence.stir.ac.uk/performance-sport/scholarships/profiles/2011-12/swimming/cameron-brodie

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