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The OSS is launching a new ‘OSS Ambassadors’ group as part of the organisation’s desire to inspire, motivate and engage with people from all walks of sport in Scotland.

The OSS supporter base has grown considerably over the past year with athletes, coaches and a wide range of people associated with community sport joining us as we drive a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of sport activity to physical and mental health and wellbeing, education, community cohesion and the economy.

With the release of the OSS Manifesto for Sport, the OSS is seeking to recognise our supporters and provide platforms for them to help to inspire others to get involved in community sport, and help stakeholders from national to local levels to grow participation.

The first entrants to our OSS Ambassadors programme are international swimmer Kathleen Dawson, disabled boxer Rhys McCole and former Scotland Women’s National Coach Shelley Kerr (pictured above).

Kathleen is one of British and Scottish swimming’s medal hopefuls for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Originally from Kirkcaldy, the 23-year-old moved to Warrington, England, when she was young, but made the move back up to Stirling in 2016. Her achievements are numerous, including representing Scotland and making finals at two Commonwealth Games, taking third at the 2015 European championships and becoming the first Scottish woman to break the minute for the 100m Backstroke. Only this month, she became the fastest Brit to swim the 100m Backstroke outside of the suited race-suit era in a 58.65, and the fastest women in the world in the the 100m Back this year.

“It was my dream when I was younger that I would go to the Olympics and win a medal, and I believe if you really want to do something, you will be able to do it. I have always loved to be involved in sport, and believe it has taught me many things, and has so many benefits. Sport has the ability to unite people whilst providing so many health benefits – so I support the OSS values and campaign to help everyone have access to it”. Kathleen Dawson

Our second new entrant is Rhys McCole, who lit up the room and made people think at our National Sport Summit at Tynecastle Stadium in 2019 with his call for those involved in sport to think about how they had changed and improved their approaches to fit modern-day teenagers. Rhys has been an active supporter of the OSS and is currently part of the Disability and Sport Research Stakeholders Group. The 20-year-old from Greenock is currently the only Para-disabled boxer in UK mainstream boxing and has a lengthy list of achievements to date, including being a three-times Multiple Boxing Scottish National Champion, twice Western District champion, Inverclyde Sports Champion and and Disability Sports Champion of the Year.

Shelley Kerr needs little introduction, having been one of Scotland’s leading female footballers in a career in which she won 59 Scotland caps and played for leading clubs across the UK. The former development officer from West Lothian went into coaching with Arsenal Ladies, studied for her Masters at Stirling University and became the first women in British football to manage a senior men’s team with Stirling’s semi-pro football side. She went on to coach women’ teams with the SFA and helped steer the national side to its first major finals, and Scotland’s first since the men’s FIFA World Cup in 1998, when she managed the team to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. She joined the OSS Board in December, after completing her four-year spell at national manager and has been active in working to develop and spread the OSS message of sport for all.

Shelley said: “I was delighted to join the OSS and it is a great privilege to become part of the OSS Ambassadors group. We want to encourage all ages of people, from young tots to our country’s terrific older people to see fun sport activity as something that they can be part of, close to home, with friends and at low cost, because the benefits to their health, and ours as a nation, are huge.”

If you have suggestions for people passionate about community sport, and how it can benefit all, who would be a good choice for the OSS Ambassadors group, please get in touch with Ryan Brown – ryan@oss.scot.

 

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