Scots encouraged to ‘Try Something New’ as part of national wellbeing campaign

19th August 2021

Footballer Leanne Crichton and former Team GB and Team Scotland basketball star Kieron Achara are encouraging people to #TrySomethingNew as part of a national campaign aimed at helping people take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.  

The challenge, which is being launched today is part of the ‘Feel Your Personal Best’ campaign from sportscotland – Scotland’s national agency for sport and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) – Scotland’s national mental health charity aims to help everyone to feel the benefits of physical activity and sport.

Current Motherwell Women and former Scotland international star, Leanne Crichton, said: “The pandemic has been tough for everyone so it’s now more important than ever that we do what can to take care of our mental and physical wellbeing. Getting out there and trying something new is a great way to do that and I am looking forward to seeing people across the country get behind this campaign.”

Basketball star Kieron Achara said: “We all know the importance of good mental health so it is great to see SAMH and sportscotland working collaboratively to encourage people to be more active. Go out and try something new, it doesn’t have to be something you perceive to be difficult or challenging, the most important thing is that people get out there and try. Who knows that might me the start of a fantastic new journey.”

Members of the sportscotland Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP) are also backing the campaign and will each be taking on a new challenge to #TrySomething New. The YPSP is currently in its fifth two-year cycle and the 20-strong group have already started their work to help ensure the voice of young people is part of the sporting conversation across Scotland.

YPSP member Molly Sands (15) is trying archery as part of the challenge. She said: “Getting involved in a new sport or physical activity is a great way for young people to put themselves out there, meet new people and try new things. It can be scary trying something new, especially if you don’t know other people there, but you never know how much you’ll enjoy something, and who you’ll meet, until you give it a go. Put yourself out there, give it a go and try something new.” 

The Feel Your Personal Best campaign’s launch earlier this year follows publication of new research which revealed that 54% of Scots who were active throughout the pandemic said that taking part in a new sport or activity has had a positive impact on their mental health.

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “It has been a very difficult 18 months due to the pandemic but with restrictions continuing to ease now is the perfect opportunity for people to get out there and try something new. Keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our health and this campaign will encourage people to get out there and be active.

“I am delighted that the campaign is being backed by the Young People’s Sport Panel – a programme we are very proud of and one which wouldn’t be possible without the support of The National Lottery and lottery players.”

Chief Executive of SAMH, Billy Watson, added: “During lockdown a lot of us found that being active helped to boost our wellbeing; so as we continue to transition away from restrictions, it’s a great time to start new routines or pick up old ones. Whether it’s yoga, surfing, or netball - SAMH and sportscotland is encouraging everyone to Try Something New for their mental health.

“Trying a new sport or activity might seem daunting; but the benefits are vast – being active can reduce stress, boost self-esteem and confidence, and help you to connect with others.”

The YPSP is an initiative led by sportscotland and supported by Young Scot. Crucial to the National Lottery-funded programme is that young people are heard and have the opportunity to influence decision making and drive change across the sporting system. The continued success of the Young People’s Sport Panel grants is made possible thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £36 million each week for good causes across the UK.