A TILLICOULTRY teenager is set to play a key role in developing sport in Scotland over the next two years as part of the Young People’s Sports Panel (YPSP).

Ryan Kellock, along with 18 other members, will have the opportunity over the next two years to have his views heard and valued and the chance to influence decision making and drive change in Scottish sport.

The 16-year-old, who is an SFA referee who dreams of one day taking charge of an Old Firm game, is relishing the challenge of being a panel member.

Ryan, who was Clackmannanshire's Young Citizen of the Year for 2016, said: “Sport is my life, growing up I have always been involved in sport one way or another.

“I would like to encourage as many people as I can both regionally and nationally to get involved in sport whether it be as a participant, coach, volunteer or official.”

Led by sportscotland and supported by Young Scot, the panel provides a national platform to represent a voice for young people from across Scotland.

A rigorous recruitment process began in January when applications were submitted by 156 young people between the ages of 14-23 years-old.

In March, 102 were selected and interviewed by a team of experts from sportscotland and external partners, as well as previous panel members.

Then 38 candidates were selected for a second interview, which included a group session, an individual challenge and a formal interview ahead of the final 19 being confirmed in June.

The panel is now in its fourth two-year cycle and sportscotland CEO, Stewart Harris, is delighted with the impact it continues to make on sport across the country.

He said: “I want to congratulate our 19 new panel members who have come through a rigorous recruitment process.

"That alone is a wonderful achievement and they have already shown skill and ability beyond their years.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact their passion and dedication will have on Scottish sport over the next two years.

“I’d also like to give special thanks to the departing panel members who had an extremely successful two years and achieved so much, their hard work and enthusiasm was truly inspiring.

"I am always impressed by the commitment and passion for sport these young people have. They've made a real impact both at a local and national level helping to implement programmes such as the School Sports Awards.”

Part of the role of the panel is to create online content that will encourage and entice their peers to get involved in sport.

A lot of this content is hosted on the Young Scot website at young.scot/ypsp