John Swinney supports latest Boys’ Brigade campaign

By June 1, 2017

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP and John Sharp, Director for Scotland, The Boys’ Brigade at the Scottish Parliament

Former Boys’ Brigade member and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills has shown his support of The Boys’ Brigade’s latest campaign to increase participation in physical activity.

John Swinney, a former member of the 13th Edinburgh BB Company, met with BB director John Sharp and Niall Rolland, the organisation’s PR and Development Officer during the organisation’s Parliamentary Exhibition.

The five-day exhibition is part of a campaign to see more children and young people participate in regular physical activity, focusing on a joined-up approach involving youth work, schools and sporting bodies.

Mr Swinney heard about how they plan to increase sports and play opportunities for children and young people.

Mr Swinney said:

“Youth work provides young people with a safe and nurturing environment where they can share their talents and skills, have fun and learn new things. We are committed to supporting this good work through the implementation of the national Youth Work Strategy.

“It is fantastic to see youth organisations such as The Boys’ Brigade, carrying out such excellent work and addressing issues such as childhood obesity. I was extremely impressed by the proactive work they are doing to achieve a more team-based approach to tackling barriers to participation in sport.

“I used to be in the BB myself, so understand first-hand the opportunities the organisation gives a young person. The skills and tools you learn within organisations like the BB, help set you up in life, something I personally feel helped me achieve what I have done so far in my own career. It is very important that as a society we continue to empower young people both inside and outside the classroom.”

Mr Swinney also recently took to Twitter to tell his 48,500 followers: “I attribute a lot of what I have achieved in my adult life to what I learned in The Boys’ Brigade as a boy.”


John Swinney at a recent awards’ evening in Motherwell joins with the Boys’ Brigade Juniors 100 celebrations

John Sharp, Director of The Boys’ Brigade in Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to have the support of Ministers and MSPs, as it’s a fantastic reflection of what young people are achieving and  the hard work our volunteer leaders are carrying out. It’s important we engage with MSPs around campaigns like this and the wider work of BB.  I am really heartened by how highly regarded the BB is and the extent to which our work is valued by Scotland’s elected representatives.

“Our research has indicated that the vast majority of our groups offer at least 30 minutes of sport, recreation and play each week.”

The BB is also encouraging people to raise awareness and showcase how they are currently participating in sporting activity through Twitter using the #TeamPlayerScot. It is hoped this will encourage a more joined-up approach – bringing together sporting bodies, schools and youth work to help increase activity levels.