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Youth Sport Trust initiative to help improve wellness of young elite athletes and their parents

By Tom Walker    15 Aug 2019
The new initiative will see 11 national governing bodies of sport work together with YST

Youth Sport Trust (YST) has set out to protect the mental health of young talented athletes by educating and preparing them for the rigours of performance sport.

A new initiative will see 11 national governing bodies of sport work with the charity to engage more than 1,000 young people currently on talent programmes.

Funded in partnership with Sport England, the scheme will see athletes on the YST Talent programmes benefit from a range of free online resources and a programme of workshops delivered at elite youth sporting events.

As well as reaching young people, the YST has identified a need to engage parents of talented young athletes and provide them with the tools they need to support young athletes on talent pathways.

Parents and carers will be offered online support, ideas and education through an app, which has been designed with the input of leading sports professionals and academics. It covers topics on the science of being a young person, competition support and the balancing of education and sport.

"Today’s young people already face a raft of issues which are widely documented and can be heightened when asked to compete at the top level," said Ali Oliver, CEO of YST.

"This summer is an exciting time with so many high-profile sporting events taking place but it’s important that we have support mechanisms and education programmes in place to help the next generation of elite athletes to thrive in their lives in and beyond sport."

Dame Katherine Grainger, chair of UK Sport, added: "Being a young athlete on a performance pathway is such a brilliant exciting place to be.

"There is so much to learn, for both the athletes and their parents, in the quest to be as good as they can be.

"Having support and guidance along the journey is a huge help to make sure it is the best possible experience for everyone, and athletes can enjoy achieving their potential in every way."

Youth Sport Trust  YST  Ali Oliver 
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