Jog leaders from around Scotland gathered together at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Saturday for our Jog Leader Conference. The event was a chance for leaders to meet one another and exchange tips, as well as taking part in a variety of sessions.
There was a mental health theme for the day, which kicked off with Robert Nesbitt from our partners SAMH, who praised jog leaders for their enthusiasm and openness to learning about mental health. He talked about our actions linked to the Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport, including Sammy’s Road Trip, and also talked about the barriers experienced by people with mental health conditions which prevent them from engaging in activity. He continued that theme later in the day with a workshop giving leaders the chance to work through scenarios covering the barriers that can be faced by LGBTI people, BME groups and people with physical or mental health conditions.
Leader Jordan Stitt from West Dunbartonshire shared his own experience of supporting his friend who had mental health issues, and how he used running and exercise to look after his own wellbeing during this time.
Key Speaker, Commonwealth Games athlete Jayne Nisbet, gave an inspiring talk on the role of coaches in creating the right environment to support athletes. The high jumper, who has talked openly about her own experience of eating disorders, talked about the ways in which social media can impact on body image, and how to have mental health conversations if you think someone needs help.
The day included workshops featuring Glasgow City Physiotherapy presenting on injury prevention, and our partners DW Fitness First, who gave leaders the chance to try out strength and conditioning with a range of accessories including ViPR tubes, sand bags, kettle bells and bosu balls.
We also had a talk from Olympian Freya Ross, touching on the positive and negative aspects of life as an elite athlete. She also talked about the importance of good nutrition and stayed to sign copies of her cookbook Food on the Run, donating £1 for every book sale to SAMH.
We’ve had great feedback from participants – comments received on feedback forms included: “A fabulous and inspiring day with some really relevant content,” “A really excellent event, very informative, helpful and got lots of ideas,” and “Everyone who spoke today were great, engaging and enthusiastic!”
We hope to host a series of further events in different parts of Scotland giving more Jog Leaders the chance to get together, share experiences, and take part in workshops and other CPD opportunities.