A YOUNG sport leader from Cowdenbeath is launching a new campaign to keep Scotland physically active and connected with friends and family while social distancing measures are in place

Alice Fox, a former Beath High School pupil, has been a member of sportscotland’s Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP) since June 2018. The panel is currently in its fourth two-year cycle and Alice has already made great strides in ensuring the voice of young people is part of the sporting conversation across Scotland.

With sport at a standstill during the Covid-19 crisis, the YPSP has been working hard to ensure people can stay mentally and physically active from their own homes and have been at the forefront of that effort.

The panel, and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), have created the Walk and Talk idea as part of sportscotland’s We’re here’ campaign, which SAMH is supporting. This promotes the benefits that physical activity has on mental health.

Walk and Talk is encouraging people to set a time for a walk, and talk phone call with a friend, family member, colleague or team mate.

Each person takes a photo while on their walk and shares it on social media using the hashtag #WeAreHere and tags @sportscotland and @SAMHtweets. The campaign was launched during Mental Health Awareness Week but will continue while restrictions are in place in Scotland.

Keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our overall health, Alice says, and staying connected with others is also important during a challenging time for all.

She said of the campaign: “Our Walk and Talk initiative is really simple yet so effective. Being active and spending time outside has always been beneficial to our physical and mental wellbeing.

“However, it is more important than ever during this crisis. These uncertain times are affecting everyone, albeit in different ways, so for that reason it is so important we remain connected with our friends and loved ones.”

The YPSP is part of sportscotland’s commitment to provide a legacy of confident and well-trained young people who will become the next generation of leaders to help take the sporting system forward.

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “Clearly this is an extremely challenging time for everyone in Scotland and beyond. While we all must continue to follow Government guidelines, it has been great to see that while organised sport is suspended, the sporting sector has innovated to encourage people to keep active in their homes.

“Sport panel members have been at the forefront of that. I’ve been incredibly impressed by the commitment and passion for sport these sport panel members have shown during the current crisis and throughout their time on the panel.

“It is thanks to National Lottery players that projects like the Young People’s Sport Panel can continue to make a huge difference to sport in Scotland.”