STAY active during lockdown and help your mental wellbeing.

That's the message to West Fifers from a Kelty teenager who is one a of select band of youngsters who will have a say on Scotland's sporting future as part of a national initiative.

Paige Boyle, 19, has relayed her own experiences of how to reduce stress and refocus your mind as people across the country continue to live under tough COVID-19 restrictions.

Since November, the second-year Stirling University student – along with Fife Synchronised Swimming Club member Molly Sands – has been a member of sportscotland's Young People's Sport Panel (YPSP).

The initiative, supported by Young Scot, is now in its fifth two-year cycle and has brought together a 20-strong group to ensure that the voice of young people is part of the national sporting conversation.

Funded by the National Lottery, they have the opportunity to influence decision-making and drive change across the sporting system and, during their early discussions, mental health is a topic that has featured prominently.

The YPSP have supported the sportscotland Walk and Talk campaign, which started last June with the goal of encouraging people to set a time for a walk and talk phone call with a friend, to help keep people active and connected.

Physical activity is central to good mental health and making small changes, such as going for a daily walk, can be transformational.

Paige, who combines her studies as a self-employed coach and delivers weekly training sessions to a wide age group, also volunteers for Inspire Stirling, a group set up with the aim of helping improve people’s lives through sport.

"Regular physical activity can really help our mental wellbeing; it is a great way to reduce stress," she said.

"Switching off from other activities and focusing on physical activities is a great way to refocus your mind.

"My day is started with a walk – a great way to start any day is by getting some fresh air. It allows me to start the day focused and alert. My advice would be set a plan for your activity, start small and each day build it up.

"Remember that anything is better than nothing."

Chief executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: "Clearly this is an extremely challenging time for everyone in Scotland and beyond.

"While we all must continue to follow government guidelines, it is important to remember that keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our overall health as is staying connected in whatever way we can to friends and family.

"The Young People’s Sport Panel is a programme we are very proud of and it has helped develop young people for eight years; it wouldn’t be possible without the National Lottery and lottery players."

The continued success of the Young People’s Sport Panel grants is made possible thanks to National Lottery players who raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.