London Youth Games delivers first youth leadership residential

13th Feb 2024
Estella D
group of young people smile at camera

Back in January, London Youth Games’ LYG33 team headed to Cheshunt for a 2-day residential to welcome in the new cohort.


LYG33 is a youth leadership programme aimed at empowering young Londoners to make a difference in the capital through the power of sport. It aims to give a voice to young people from each of the 33 London boroughs. The programme consists of a variety of development opportunities, exclusive experiences, and participating in exciting projects that will help shape of the future of the London Youth Games.


I am Estella and I am the Communications Lead of the LYG33 Leadership Team. Through my role I help spread the word about the London Youth Games and inform people about what we do and what we offer young people in London.


It was the first time the LYG33 programme has done a residential and it’s safe to say it was certainly a success. The weekend kicked off bright and early on Saturday morning, with an icebreaker game instructing a blindfolded person in moving around cups of coloured water to make sure they matched the order shown on screen. This involved putting our listening skills to the test, and making sure we gave out clear instructions to the person ordering the cups.


After lunch we were introduced to three minority sports – handball, sitting volleyball and Boccia. It was amazing to try out some new sports to bond as a team and gave a good insight into how different sports can be adapted in a way that is accessible to all.


Later in the afternoon we heard from previous participants of the LYG33 programme, who told us how we could make the most out of this incredible opportunity and how they have developed as a leader over the past year. We followed this up with a reflection session, discussing what we wanted the culture of LYG33 to be and what our expectations were for the season. We all then took the time to set out our own personal development goals – mine are to develop my public speaking and find a career in the sports industry.


Sunday morning was all about teamwork in which two members of the Army came in to deliver a workshop. We were tasked to work together to order a list of items, in order of priority, of what we would need on an army expedition. This brought up a lot of challenges as every individual had their own ways of thinking about things and their own priorities but eventually we were able to come to an agreement on a final list. We then had to come up with an acronym that best summarised the values of LYG33.


For the final part of the task, two members of our group had to instruct the others, who were blindfolded, to place a number of items in the correct place on the ground. This was really difficult and involved us putting a lot of trust and faith into the two team members who were giving out the instructions.


We then sat down for a Q&A with guest speaker Tobi Sho-Silva. He is a striker for Maidenhead United, and a former participant of the London Youth Games. It was really insightful to see how big of a role the London Youth Games has played in his journey and the questions asked by the team meant got an insight into his leadership and how he stays true to his core values.


After lunch we were tasked with co-designing medals idea for the Open Games and School Games for London Youth Games 2025. We had to take into consideration things such as the material we would use, how much it would cost to be shipped, what we would do if some of them got damaged in transport, and how the medal could be repurposed for future years. For our design my team incorporated the London skyline and showcased the 33 different boroughs on the medal ribbon. This task was a really great opportunity to put those teamwork skills we learnt earlier into practice whilst also using our creativity to design something both practical and visually appealing.


For our final session of the weekend each member of the leadership team helped lead a carousel-style co-production workshop. This involved the LYG33 going round in small groups and getting a taster of what the leadership team work on as part of their co-production briefs. With Max I helped run a marketing and communications workshop. We got the LYG33 members to tell us how they thought we could best spread the word about the London Youth Games, as well as getting them all involved in some fun social media content creation. We were able to take lots of ideas away, such as using posters, going into schools, and using the power of influencers, all of which will now be taken into consideration as we work towards our co-production briefs for the remainder of the season.


Overall, the residential was such a great weekend. It was a really great opportunity for us all to bond and get to know each other in a fun and safe environment. By the end of the weekend everyone had really grown in confidence and became more open with sharing their opinions amongst the others in the group. It was also great to see how our ideas were taken on board by both staff and the leadership team – it makes everyone feel really valued and like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Seeing the personal development of everyone in just one weekend makes me really excited to see the progress everyone continues to make throughout the remainder of the season.


For more information about LYG33, and who your representatives are, please go to: LYG33 – London Youth Games