Mel Young, founder of the Homeless World Cup and co-founder of The Big Issue in Scotland, has been promoted to be the new chair of sportscotland.
Announcing the appointment, the Scottish Government said Young has a background “in using sport to drive social change and improve lives.”
The Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn, said: “Mel is someone who is not only passionate about sport, but also has a proven track record of harnessing the power of sport and physical activity to bring about positive changes in society.
“He understands that by encouraging people to take part in sport, we can help to improve people’s lives, particularly if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Mel brings a wealth of experience both through his present role as vice chair on the sportscotland board and through his considerable expertise as a social entrepreneur.
“I look forward to working with him on our shared vision of an Active Scotland where more people are more active, more often and developing the sporting system in Scotland to ensure that it is truly a world class system for all.”
Young said: “I am really excited about starting this new role.
“sportscotland’s partnerships with local authorities, governing bodies of sport, clubs and other organisations, coupled with Scottish Government and National Lottery investment, has produced a very impressive system right across community, club, and performance sport.
“My experience accumulated over three years as sportscotland’s vice-chair and seven years on the board has given me a strong understanding of the power of sport and its capacity to improve people’s lives not only by making us healthier and more active but also by developing social skills, encouraging inclusivity, and providing inspiration.
“sportscotland’s current chair, Louise Martin, is an incredibly influential figure in Scottish sport who has done a terrific job over the previous eight years, and I look forward to helping sportscotland and the sector maintain its momentum as we build a world-class system for all.”
Young is the president and founder of the Homeless World Cup and a successful social entrepreneur who co-founded The Big Issue in Scotland in 1993, the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in 1995 and Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland (Senscot) in 1999.
Young is a Fellow of the Schwab Foundation of the World Economic Forum and a Senior Ashoka Fellow – both international organisations that bring together leading social entrepreneurs.
Young’s appointment is for four years from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2020.