On the morning of January 17th, I journeyed to London to present the Youth Sport Trust manifesto to Members of Parliament, alongside sports icons such as Mo Farah, Denise Lewis, Hannah Cockroft, and other trustees and supporters of the charity. As a youth board member, I had the privilege of expressing my opinions and contributing to the content of the manifesto. Meeting Sir Mo Farah and Denise Lewis was truly amazing—they were both gracious and down-to-earth individuals.
Leading up to the event, I reached out to my Member of Parliament, Anna McMorrin, inviting her to join us. To my delight, I received a response on the morning of the event, confirming Anna's intention to attend.
Engaging in a meaningful conversation with Tonia Antoniazzi MP, the Labour MP for the Gower, was a highlight. She showed a genuine interest in my perspectives on sports and its significance for young people. I felt heard and appreciated as we discussed the impact of sports on youth.
During the event, I discovered that representatives from Sport Wales were present. This prompted a conversation about potential collaborations between YST and Sport Wales. Expressing my concern that YST seemed England-centric in its communications and decision-making, I stressed the importance of ensuring Wales has a voice. They agreed to meet with me going forward to collectively address this issue and ensure Sport Wales's input into YST.
After our time in Parliament, we transitioned to St Ermins Hotel for an awards ceremony honouring young people. Michael Gunning, a 200-metre butterfly swimmer, served as the presenter. Witnessing individuals receive awards for their contributions to local communities was inspiring. I also had the opportunity to converse with former England Netballer Ama Agabeze about my role in YST, netball, and the Olympics.
In summary, it was an extraordinary day, marked by the success of YST. Reconnecting with my fellow YST board members and meeting new individuals passionate about expanding young people's access to sports made the experience truly fulfilling.
Emily Thompson, Year 13