Exclusive: We want sport for young people to be driven by young people says Steele

Saturday, 29 December 2012
By Tom Degun

Young AmbassadorsDecember 29 - Youth Sport Trust chief executive John Steele says that his organisation wants to see sport for young people to be driven by young people following the launch of their new London 2012 legacy initiative.

The project titled "Lead Your Generation" was launched by Steele at the global sports conference Doha Goals in Qatar earlier this month.

A key aspect of the initiative will be young people developing legacy plans for their schools by building on the Young Ambassador scheme that sees young people using Olympic and Paralympic values to inspire others.

It will see the ambassadors coordinating sports festivals, activities and events that are ultimately driven by young people to inspire their peers and Steele thinks getting young people to lead the project is crucial.

"At the Youth Sport Trust, we feel it is of fundamental importance to empower young people to be role models and make a difference in their schools and communities," Steele told insidethegames.

"That is vital if we are serious about putting young people at the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy and that is what Lead Your Generation is really about.

"It is essentially driven by young people for young people.

"This isn't about handing out instructions from above or dictating about what young people should do; it is about giving them the power to take control."

Next year marks another vital one for the Youth Sport Trust, who will be running the Sainsbury's 2013 School Games finals in Sheffield.

The new School Games, which are an evolved version of the previous Government's UK School Games, are largely the creation of former Cultural Secretary Jeremy Hunt, with the inaugural event held last year on the Olympic park in Stratford shortly before the start of London 2012.

But Hunt has now been made Health Secretary by Prime Minister David Cameron, with Maria Miller the new Cultural Secretary.

Maria MillerNew Culture Secretary Maria Miller will play a key role in working the Youth Sport Trust 

But despite the reshuffle, and the Youth Sport Trust losing a valuable supporter in Hunt, Steele says the organisation is happy to work with any and all figures in Government.

"The Youth Sport Trust has always worked and will continue to work with all relevant figures in Government," said Steele.

"It is the same with all our stakeholders.

"But it is important to remember what we are about and that everything we do, in partnership with our stakeholders, is for young people.

"We have an important year coming up, with the 2013 School Games finals in Sheffield obviously one of the big events on the calendar.

"Last year was obviously fantastic, with the 2012 School Games finals on the Olympic Park acting as a great curtain raiser to a fantastic summer of sport.

"Our goal now is to maximise on this fantastic year of sport and keep it moving forward."

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