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Youth Legacy Ambassadors inspired by Commonwealth Youth Summit

Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassadors,

Blog / Young People
Three Youth Legacy Ambassadors from North Ayrshire share their stories from the Commonwealth Youth Summit in Dumfries.

From 6 – 9 June 2014 Scotland welcomed over 250 young people from across the Commonwealth to the historic town of Dumfries for the Commonwealth Youth Summit. The summit, hosted in a partnership between Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, was Scotland’s National Youth Work Event for Commonwealth Games Legacy and featured an exciting line-up of keynote speakers and presenters from the business, sporting and community sectors across the UK.

From left to right: Jonathan Cranstoun, Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, Paul Gillespie, Zoe Nix

Zoe Nix, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador, aged 15

After hearing an emotional speech from Paralympic Gold Medalist David Smith MBE at the Commonwealth Youth Summit 2014, I think everyone had a tear in their eye. David shared his emotional journey from being a 15 year old boy who had competed at three world championships to winning gold in the LTAMix4+ rowing at the London 2012 Olympic Games and everything that happened in between that. 

After having a tumour removed from his neck that had been there for 10 years, David had to relearn to walk, cook and do everything for himself all over again.

What inspired me most was David's drive and determination to get to the Olympics 2012, to compete for his country and go for gold. Throughout his life-long health complications and difficulties, he never gave in. He just kept going and going. He ignored his doubters, ignored the hurtful remarks about his disability and went on to prove them wrong in a spectacular style!

After David's speech, he answered questions in a Q&A session. I asked what David's legacy wish for the Games 2014. He gave a very detailed answer and talked about getting rid of racism in sport and having children inspired and kept interested in sports.

I also managed to get David to fill in a legacy wish for me which was amazing! He is such a down-to-earth person and after the Q&A session, he came down to the campsite where everyone was staying and interacted with all the young people.

David is an inspiration to everyone, he shows that if YOU believe in yourself, then ANYTHING is possible and you should follow your dreams no matter what, no matter how difficult you think they are or no matter who say it isn't possible because you can and will turn around and prove them wrong.

Jonathan Cranstoun, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador, aged 20

During my weekend at the Commonwealth Youth Summit I was able to delve into the culture and experiences of over 15 different Commonwealth countries.

On the Saturday night we attended the evening celebrations in which I took the opportunity to speak to many of the different delegates there. It was a great opportunity being able to talk with these individuals about where they were from and what kind of projects they are working on in their own country as well as sharing my own experiences. On the stage were the flags of every country and it was great to be able to see an example of all the different cultures gathering together in the one event under one common aim. Myself and the other Young Scot Legacy Ambassadors managed to get our picture taken with thee flags to remind us of what we were a part of.

During delivery of the workshops on the Sunday I was able to talk to even more of the delegates and some of them had some great stories to learn and I was even lucky enough to get a lesson on the Australian accent from a few of the Australian delegates.

Overall I think the event plays an important part in promoting how important the youth are in todays society and being able to share my experiences with so many different individuals from every background was amazing and hopefully they have learned something from me that they can take back to their own country as there was definitely some points I will be using from now on.

Paul Gillespie, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador, aged 20

Today at the Commonwealth Youth Summit held in Dumfries two North Ayrshire Youth Legacy Ambassadors and I had the privilege of delivering a variety of sessions to the other young people attending the summit. Zoe, Jonathan and myself were honoured to be representing Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassadors and to also work closely with many other youth - work agencies such as Duke of Edinburgh and many other local authority youth services. Together we provided 6 activities for all the young people attending. They were all split into different groups and the activities lasted throughout the whole day. Every group lasted for 20 minutes and then the young people would rotate to another group.

These activities were designed to increase their confidence, communication and listening skills and also to be able to work well together in a team environment. This was certainly achieved and the young people were very enthusiastic throughout all activities and we're always up for a challenge and pushing themselves to achieve.

Jonathan, Zoe and I would really like to take this opportunity to thank the Commonwealth Youth Summit for inviting the Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassadors to attend and for allowing us to help facilitate the activities. We all had a great time and by taking part within the last couple of days this has greatly increased our confidence as well.

We hope everyone has had a brilliant weekend weekend and once again a massive thank you.

Find out more about Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassadors

Find out more about the Commonwealth Youth Summit