Weeknotes #8

This last week started with a fab PhD supervisory meeting with Adam Runacres. Adam is undertaking research investigating the long-term influences of intensive training during childhood. It’s one of the collaborations we have with Swansea University as part of the KESS 2 programme.

KESS 2 (Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship) provides opportunities for funded PhD and Research Masters study in collaboration with businesses and organisations. It is supported by European Social Funds through Welsh Government and is led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales. It aims to increase the research capacity in organisations, prepare and train individuals to contribute to research, and promote higher-level skills development.

Adam is the middle of his research and is starting to undertake some early analysis. I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges. He has recently has some research from his Masters published in the Journal of Sports Science. So, if you’re interested in reading about the complex interactions between growth, maturation and athletic performance in young people, then please check it out!

My Twitter feed was hot, hot, hot (ok, it’s all relative!) last week as a result of taking part in a Twitterchat on the #ValueOfSport. The chat was hosted by Sport Wales and it was a great opportunity to hear from different people and organisations about the work they’re doing, and their views and approaches in bringing about wider value through sport.

A few ‘takeaways’ for me…

Relationships are key, whether they are between organisations, or with participants. Being relationship-centred is something that is clearly not just for sport, but for all of us. It’s an extension of a person-centred approach. The priority of developing a relationship-centred approach must start with being person-centred. It’s about valuing and nurturing positive interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, and recognising that the nature and quality of those relationships are important and central to enable stuff to happen.

The ways of working in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, whether consciously or unconsciously, are a key aspects of what makes a successful programme, project, or whatever. When you involve, collaborate, integrate, look and act with the long-term in mind, and take a preventative approach, you will not go far wrong!

It’s definitely worth checking out the #ValueOfSport hashtag to see what was said and showcased.

I had a fab meeting this week with Richard Dando about Sport Wales’ and Youth Sport Trust’s Young Ambassador Programme. The Young Ambassador programme aims to empower and inspire young people to become leaders through sport and to help encourage their friends to become involved in sport for life. The programme has been running for 10 years. In that time, 15,000 young people in Wales have been recruited as Young Ambassadors. We have over 4,000 young people currently active and volunteering as a Young Ambassador in their communities.

As you might expect, being a Young Ambassador brings about many wider benefits to the young person and their friends. 76% said that their personal health and wellbeing has improved and 91% said that they had improved the health and wellbeing of other young people. 93% said that they had increased opportunities for other young people to take part in sport. It’s not all about health… 98% said that being a Young Ambassador had helped them to develop their leadership and communication skills (Youth Sport Trust, Impact Report 2018 – believing in every child’s future).

We’re working with Young Ambassadors to reflect on the successes of the programme and consider what the next 10 years might look like.

I’ve always been hugely impressed with the Young Ambassadors. On a few occasions, I have had to follow them as the next speaker in seminars… I say ‘had to’ because you cannot top a Young Ambassador! They are articulate, thoughtful, energetic, committed, have many amazing ideas and are doing incredible stuff. They are our future, and in my experience, with them as leaders, the future is a bright one!



Podcasts that I have listened to:

Reasons to be Cheerful with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd. The House Always Wins: addressing the gambling crisis

Eat Sleep Work Repeat. Building Culture the Barcelona Way

Eat Sleep Work Repeat. Gender in the workplace – breaking the glass wall

Eat Sleep Work Repeat. Jim Collins on making good culture great

RSA Events. Toolkit for Activists

RSA Events. Ideas to Fix the Future

Seismic. Bonus 3 – A chat about weddings with Jane (Hungry City Hippy)

Four Thought. Life in Letters

Four Thought. A Pleasure Culture of War

Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee. #73 Why you are stronger than you think with Ross Edgley

More or Less: Behind the Statistics. Deforestation in Brazil

More or Less: Behind the Statistics. Amazon forest fires

More or Less: Behind the Statistics. Ethiopia’s 350m trees in a day

Women’s Hour Podcast. Susan Sontag, Feminist economics, Waad al-Kateab

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