Invergordon Academy offers courses in which pupils can be awarded for not only their sports skills but also their leadership qualities. From S4 and onward, pupils can choose to be involved in various Sports Leader courses and can carry on up the levels until they leave. The Young Ambassador programme is the subsequent level after being a Sports Leader. Using strong leaders from within schools, this programme is in place in order to increase the participation of pupils in physical education as well as promote a healthy living. There are currently four Young Ambassadors, chosen by the P.E. department, within the school. Rory Vass S5, Gemma Maclean S5, Rowan Campbell S5 and Emily Finlayson S4 are all involved with the Young Ambassador programme.
Gemma explains, “The Young Ambassador programme can lead on to various experiences and opportunities. Recently, I applied to be a member of the national Young Ambassador steering group and was accepted. The Youth Sport Trust flew me down to London free of charge where I attended a two day hand over meeting and met lots of amazing young people as well as visiting the Olympic stadium and watching the Paralympic anniversary games which was incredible!”
Being a Young Ambassador is a great opportunity to learn new skills and learning to cope with new responsibilities.
“I have developed great confidence since being part of this programme. I now feel very comfortable approaching new people and speaking in front of groups of young people as well as adults and important people. It’s made me feel more grown up and mature.
“I now know that I am a role model in the school for younger pupils as well as primary school pupils. I feel I am given a lot more responsibility when I am leading younger kids and that I have to show a good example.”
Gemma recently featured in a local newspaper where an article was written about her achievements and how she has turned her life around in the last year because of the programme.
“I showed strong leadership qualities [in school] but I wasn’t fulfilling my potential.
“Being involved has made me realise a lot about school and learning. It made me want to put more effort in with my studies and made me really want to try so I can hopefully one day go to university.”
The programmes that the P.E. department offer are not just for those interested in sports. Anyone looking to improve their leadership skills or to be more confident around people can have a go.
“You don’t just have to be sporty to be a Young Ambassador. It’s for everybody no matter what interests you.
“I love it! It opens up so many opportunities for you and lets you meet loads of inspiring people and make new friends.”
P.E. teacher Miss Barr congratulates Gemma for her success, “Gemma’s hard work and commitment to the Young Ambassador Programme has been inspiring and this has had an impact across the whole department.”
Well done for all your hard work Gemma!
– Rachel Goodwin S6