#SCTalks - Focusing on Young People's Mental Health

#SCTalks - Focusing on Young People's Mental Health


We invite you to join us in the next edition of our monthly #SCTalks panel discussion. This discussion will focus on mental health and wellbeing among young people in sport.


Monday 3rd May 2021 at 7pm – 8pm

The subject material for this month’s discussion was inspired by conversations amongst Scottish Cycling’s Young People’s Panel on the importance of normalising discussions surrounding mental health in young sportspeople. Sport has been evidenced to improve mental wellbeing, increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety. Our panel of four experts will discuss how exercise can support mental health during stressful periods.

Under the overarching theme, our panel will discuss topics such as:

  • Mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The important role sport plays in supporting positive mental wellbeing.
  • The proposed introduction of ‘young ambassadors’ to clubs, which will encourage peer discussion among young people on the subject of mental wellbeing.
  • How best to work towards normalising discussions around mental health.

The discussion will be hosted by Eilidh Hamill, a member of Scottish Cycling’ Young People’s Panel. Our speakers for the webinar will be announced in due course; they will come from a varied range of backgrounds to ensure a thorough discussion from all relevant perspectives.

  • Eilidh Hamill

A keen sportsperson, Eilidh has coached in cycling for over 6 years and been a member of Scottish Cycling’s Young People’s Panel since 2019. As part of this panel, she was a member of sportscotland’s Young Ambassadors conference delivery team, and was awarded the North Ayrshire Provost Award in 2019 for her contribution to coaching and volunteering. Working alongside the rest of the panel has enabled Eilidh to amplify the voice of young cyclists across the country, and to engage in important conversations despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. By hosting this webinar discussion, Eilidh hopes to contribute to the continuing progress being made surrounding the normalisation of mental health conversations among young people.

  • Dr Chris Hartley 

Dr Chris Hartley is a HCPC registered and chartered sport psychologist. He currently works as a lecturer in sport psychology at the University of Stirling, and is chair of the Scottish Sport and Exercise Psychology Network. Chris has provided sport and performance psychology services to a range of athletes, sports and organisations from participatory through to elite professional levels. As an applied practitioner, his work primarily focuses on supporting the wellbeing and holistic development of individuals and teams while sustaining high levels of performance. As such, Chris is familiar with the challenges faced by young athletes with regards to their mental health and wellbeing, and he actively conducts research on how to optimally support young people through these experiences.

  • Neil Addington

A chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society and registered with The Health and Care Professions Council, Neil has been practicing sport psychology for almost 6 years. During this time, he has worked within a range of Professional and Olympic sports and has worked with athletes across all levels of the development pathway. The majority of his work has been supporting elite youth development within Professional Academies in football and rugby, with his current role being the Academy Psychologist at Celtic Football Club. Within his work, Neil has always strived to balance improving development and performance whilst maintaining and enhancing well-being and positive mental health due to the interconnectedness between them both.

  • Lucy Grant

Lucy grew up in Peebles, in the Scottish Borders, which is where she first started Mountain Biking and fell in love with the sport! After competing in her first local XC race at the age of 7, she was utterly hooked. Having progressed up through the various categories, Lucy went on to race at World Cup Level, before a 2016 injury forced a change in discipline from XC to track sprint. Despite originally planning to return to XC racing, she ended up enjoying track sprint so much that she continued with this discipline. Lucy is now part of the Scottish Cycling Performance Programme, training at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and living in Glasgow. Lucy’s lifetime experience in club and performance cycling will ensure that her wealth of knowledge will be a fine addition to our exciting panel.

  • Kirsty Ewen

Kirsty was crowned the winner of the 2018 Get Inspired Unsung Hero award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in recognition the work she does with Inverness Swimming Club/Highland Swim Team as well as her work across Scotland raising awareness of mental health, the impact of sport and volunteering and encouraging others to talk about how they are feeling.  Kirsty talks openly and honestly about her own struggles with mental health, the impact that’s had on her and how being given the opportunity to get involved with Sports Leadership and Volunteering not only shaped but saved her life. She is determined to help young people improve themselves through sport and share her own experience to show there is always hope.

It is encouraged that all young people with an interest in looking after their mental wellbeing attend this webinar. The discussion will be held on Zoom, which will allow audience members to pose questions during the discussion, and the panel will answer these questions at the end of the webinar. The session will be recorded so that those who cannot make it, or wish to watch it again at a later time, can do so.

Please note, this discussion will be aimed at young people in sport. As such, the terminology and complexity of the discussion will be tailored to an appropriate level to allow the target audience to understand and follow the discussion. For the purposes of safeguarding, audience members under the age of 18 must have an appropriate adult within their vicinity for the duration of the webinar.

Stay tuned for further updates, and register for the webinar using the link below!


Scottish Cycling are unable to offer direct mental health advice. If you are struggling, please seek help from NHS24, SAMH and The Samaritans.