Connor Paterson appointed onto sportscotland's Young People's Sports Panel
One of Ardeer Bowling Club’s youngest members, Connor Paterson, has recently been selected from hundreds of applicants to help shape the future of sport in Scotland.
The 19-year-old from Stevenston in North Ayrshire is one of 20 group members that have been selected to join sportscotland’s Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP). Throughout the next two years, Connor and his peers will play an influential role in making sport more accessible to young people throughout the country.
Having received over 136 applications for the panel, we are delighted that sportscotland recognise Connor’s skills and passion for lawn bowls, having first taken up the sport in 2011.
We caught up with Connor to find out more about his bowls journey and what he hopes to achieve over the next two years in his new role…
Q1) What made you want to apply to be on sportscotland’s Young People’s Sports Panel?
A: “The main reason I applied to be part of the Young People’s Sports Panel was to help change sports for young people in Scotland by making it more accessible and inclusive for all. My experiences in my own area have allowed me to see first-hand the barriers young people face in sport and I think it's important that everyone has the opportunity to take part without feeling like they can't. The YPSP is a great opportunity for me to work with like-minded people and we can work together as a team to help improve sport in Scotland.”
Q2) Describe more about what the role will involve?
A: “The Young People’s Sports Panel provides a national platform to represent the voice of young people across Scotland. Our role on the panel is to help influence and shape the future of sport in Scotland and to raise the profile of sport. During our time on the panel, we will have many goals to achieve, and we will look to do this within the two years of being on the panel. I'm grateful to be given the opportunity to represent sportscotland and my local area helping to drive change for young people in sport throughout Scotland.”
Q3) Is there anything you’d like to achieve during your time on the Panel?
A: “Throughout my time on the panel I want to be able to achieve success in being able to provide more sporting opportunities for young people in Scotland. Working with the other members of the panel we will look to drive change and make a positive impact on sports in Scotland.”
Q4) How did you get involved in bowls and what’s your favourite thing about the sport?
A: “Bowls is a sport that not many young people know of, and I have been lucky enough to have the chance to take part in it since I was seven years old. In the years that I have played I have had many opportunities to take part in tournaments all over North Ayrshire where I have won many trophies and gained success.
“I have a few stand out memories that I will always remember, one of these was winning the Scottish Triples at junior level which is a tournament that people from all over Scotland take part in, and personally it made me realise how much I love the sport. At that stage having the opportunity to meet people from all over the country, I was able to massively improve my communication skills and leadership skills and help my team get over the finish line and win the Ann Dennis Triples.”
Q5) What advice would you give someone looking to try bowls?
A: “My advice to anyone looking to try bowls would be to definitely give it a shot. Bowls has provided me with lifelong friendships. I have had the opportunity to work with amazing coaches and it has helped me deal with my mental health massively. From my long experience of playing, I have always been welcomed with open arms and made to feel I am welcome anywhere I go. The Bowls Scotland team always goes above and beyond to get young people involved in bowls and I definitely encourage anyone who is thinking about trying bowls to give it a shot. It's an amazing sport filled with amazing people and great opportunities.”
Congratulations once again to Connor on behalf of everyone from Bowls Scotland on being selected onto sportscotland’s Young People’s Sports Panel! To find out more about the initiative please visit: https://sportscotland.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/the-young-peoples-sport-panel/