Two sport leaders from Dalry will use the power of sport to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people as part of a new initiative.

Declan Hannah and Shannon Murray will form part of a 20-strong group of wellbeing ambassadors as part of a new project led by Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

The joint programme has been created with £61,205 from the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity fund.

The group of wellbeing ambassadors, who are already part of SSF’s volunteer workforce, met for the first time recently at the sportscotland National Centre Inverclyde. They set out a plan for the delivery of sessions including an event at the Oriam Performance Centre in Edinburgh on April 7. This will see around 250 young people from across Scotland, who participate in SSF’s Twilight Basketball programme, take part in a basketball tournament and mental wellbeing workshops put on by the ambassadors.

The group are already part of SSF’s volunteer network and are setting out to increase the understanding of mental health among young people, and as such ensure more young people enjoy better mental and physical wellbeing.

Declan said: “I was excited to be a wellbeing ambassador as soon as I heard about it. Mental health and wellbeing is such a big issue and I want to be at the forefront of helping others.

“Sport and physical activity can make you happier as well as more connected with your friends and teammates. This means that you are at much less risk of feeling isolated.”

Kirsty McNab, CEO of SSF, said: “We are very proud that this project with SAMH allows young people from our existing programmes the space and opportunity to work with leading experts in mental health to develop resources, ideas, and tools to inspire confidence in talking about mental health.”

Robert Nesbitt, SAMH head of physical activity and sport, added: “Working together with SSF and the wellbeing ambassadors through the funded project is promoting positive discussions around physical activity and mental health, helping to break down barriers to participating which will make a real difference to young people’s mental health and wellbeing in an inclusive environment.”