A FIGHTING fit Muirhead teenager is encouraging her fellow Monklands residents to stay active to help their mental wellbeing while coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
Young People’s Sport Panel member Hannah Smith has been a member of sportscotland’s Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP) since November.
The panel is currently in its fifth two-year cycle and the 20-strong group have already started their work to help ensure the voice of youths is part of the sporting conversation across Scotland, in an initiative led by sportscotland and supported by Young Scot
Crucial to the National Lottery funded programme is that youngsters are heard and have the opportunity to influence decision making and drive change across the sporting system.
Hannah, 18, is encouraging people to find what works best for them and what they enjoy the most, as even small amounts of gentle physical activity can be beneficial.
Hannah, who is in her first year at the University of Edinburgh and a member of the junior and senior GB climbing team, said: “Physical activity boosts self-esteem, positivity levels and even your immune system.
“It is so important to keep your body working so you can stay physically and mentally fit.
“It’s so easy to become a house cat during lockdown, so even getting out for a walk will do you wonders.
“Mentally, this pandemic has been difficult for many of us and having physical activity in your daily routine is a great way to tackle this.
“I am a member of the GB climbing team and not being able to use climbing walls for most of the past year has been so hard for me.
“During the first lockdown we built a small climbing wall in my back garden for me to train on, which I use most days.
“I also do core, pull ups and other conditioning regularly as well as taking walks around my local area with my family.
“I think the main thing is just to do something small every day. It’s fine not to always feel motivated; I don’t always feel up for going climbing, especially in freezing temperatures.”
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Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, added: “Clearly this is an extremely challenging time for everyone in Scotland and beyond.
“While we all must continue to follow government guidelines, it is important to remember that keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our overall health as is staying connected in whatever way we can to friends and family.
“The Young People’s Sport Panel is a programme we are very proud of and it has helped develop young people for eight years.
“It wouldn’t be possible without the National Lottery and lottery players.”
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