A Glasgow teenager’s tireless work in her community has been recognised after she was named sportscotland’s Young Volunteer of the Year.
Chloe Lawson, 17, is the young volunteer youth worker and coach within the Judo Girls Rock programme in the East End of Glasgow.
Every week Chloe welcomes a number of local young girls from the east end into the community centre to take part in judo and workshops. She facilitates all the sessions, plans events and coordinates trips.
The inspirational coach, from Ballieston, has volunteered with Active East for four years and has been the driving force behind her own Judo Girls Rock programme for the last year, ensuring sessions are now thriving after starting with low numbers.
On top of attending school and working, Chloe volunteers every week to help get young girls active and provide a safe place for young people to go. She has expanded her sessions beyond sport, with nights dedicated to helping educate on topics such as online safety, drugs and alcohol and first aid.
Chloe has created fantastic relationships with the young people and is playing a huge role in many young girls lives who look up to her as a role model.
Rohanna Irvine, Active East Programme Manager with Scottish Sport Futures, says it’s hard to put into words the impact Chloe has had.
She said: “When we first met Chloe she constantly had a smile on her face and was desperate to help her community. Right from the start she was brilliant and out volunteering every night of the week.
“It’s hard to put into words, she has had a huge impact. Chloe is working in an area in the east end where there is not a lot of opportunities. Chloe has created an environment where young people feel safe where they can express themselves.
“When you’re in one of Chloe’s sessions the girls look at her in absolute awe. She is a truly inspirational young person from the east end of Glasgow that is ensuring other people from the area are getting the best opportunity that they can.”
Chloe added: “It makes me feel very proud to be able to help young people. I grew up in Ballieston, which wasn’t classed as a deprived area, there wasn’t a lot to do and I saw a lot of people who were just bored.
“To be able to be a role model and someone young people look up is a great feeling, I didn’t have much of a role model outside my own house when I was growing up.
“To provide opportunities for girls is important to me as well, it’s great that we are able to offer something that isn’t usually classed as a girl’s sport.”
Chloe picked up her award on an evening where inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were celebrated across 13 categories for their significant contribution to sport over the past twelve months.
The sportscotland Coaching Officiating and Volunteer Awards 2018, were held at Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday, November 15th where leading athletes congratulated the winners and thanked them for their work in supporting and developing sport in Scotland.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland Chief Executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to help others achieve their sporting goals. Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards provide us with a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate individuals on their commitment to Scottish sport.
“Chloe is a truly inspirational young person who has made an incredible difference in her community. The commitment, dedication and support she offers the children she coaches and mentors cannot be overstated and she is fully deserving of this award.
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level in Scotland and we can only do so with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
At the event, hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in squash, wheelchair basketball, para swimming, badminton, rugby, judo, lawn bowls, swimming, football, athletics and boccia were recognised for the many hours they dedicate to helping others compete at the best level they can.