February 10 - Lead 2014, a youth leadership and volunteering campaign that aims to develop leadership skills through sport ahead of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, has been launched at the University of Stirling.
The campaign is the result of a partnership between sportscotland, Youth Sport Trust and Glasgow 2014.
It will see pupils from 137 Scottish secondary schools gather this February and March at one of seven day-long conferences hosted by the Lead 2014 partner university in their area.
The pupils will receive mentoring from university student volunteers in planning, organising and managing a Commonwealth Games themed sports festival before taking their new skills and knowledge back to their communities where they will organise a sports festival for local primary schools.
The programme is aimed to help motivate participants and play a significant part in the huge volunteering effort around the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be the biggest sporting competition ever hosted in Scotland.
"This is such a powerful way of inspiring and motivating our young people through sport to become the leaders and volunteers of tomorrow," said Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg.
"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."
This year is the second year of the campaign.
In 2011, 900 pupils from 94 secondary schools attended six university conferences across the country.
This year's programme has been extended to seven universities and has attracted interest from over 1,000 pupils all over Scotland.
"It has never been so crucial to engage young people in sport with a 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," said Louise Martin, the chair of sportscotland and honorary secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
In addition to student education, the campaign also offers an information workshop for secondary school physical education teachers and Active Schools Coordinators.
This helps them build and make the most of the sports leadership developments that are taking place in their schools.
It also ensures they appreciate the support they can provide to their pupils in running the festivals for the primary children.
"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," added Hazel Williamson, development manager for the Youth Sport Trust 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."
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