Thousands of school children from across Aberdeen will be given the opportunity to take part in physical activity as a popular sporting festival returns to the city.
The Aberdeen Youth Games is a citywide initiative developed in partnership with Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools team, Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the North East Scotland College (NESCol).
Over 100 student coaches will deliver activities in primary schools, culminating in the Festival of Health at the Aberdeen Sports Village on May 22.
The 2020 primary programme officially kicked off at a launch event held at RGU on March 12 after last year saw record-breaking numbers of pupils take part.
Over 160 pupils from Kaimhill Primary School attended a morning of sports and activities, delivered by RGU’s BSc (Hons) Applied Sport and Exercise Science students who will be on placement with registered charity Sport Aberdeen.
This event follows on from a hugely successful secondary youth games programme that deployed RGU students into secondary schools and hosted a festival where over 400 pupils took part in five different sports this February.
The aim is to establish an innovative, sustainable and integrated citywide sports programme which promotes and increases physical activity in young people with this year’s focus on increasing awareness around health and wellbeing as a whole.
Graeme Dale, Sport Aberdeen head of sport and active communities, said:
“The initiative has become a hugely anticipated and enjoyable event in Aberdeen’s sporting calendar, and it underlines the importance of keeping young people active in a fun environment whilst giving students invaluable experience.
“We are proud to continue working with RGU and NESCol to deliver the games and the effort which the Active Schools teams put in to help foster a culture of physical activity amongst young people in the city is admirable.
“Year on year we are encouraged by the continued growth of the games and we are confident that 2020 will carry on this trend.”
Thomas Craig, lecturer in sport and exercise science RGU, said:
“The Aberdeen Youth Games represents the culmination of months of hard work by our students and this event is their first opportunity to work in this real-life primary school environment with the pupils of Kaimhill. It is always pleasing to see their progression when we reach the 22nd May and we see real satisfaction on the students' faces with this being the first opportunity for them to experience the positive impact their skills and experiences will have on the wider Aberdeen City Community.
“This unique partnership with Sport Aberdeen not only enhances the students' employability options but provides RGU the opportunity to give something back to our community that supports us so well. Sport Aberdeen is fully integrated throughout the placement and AYG process and it is a team effort, one that our students and the School of Health Science are proud to be a part of.”
Neil Tattersal, curriculum manager for Sport at North East Scotland College, said:
“The Aberdeen Youth Games have become a massive part of the community sporting calendar for the city and something all of our students look forward to supporting every year.
“More than 200 NESCol students from a range of sports courses will attend this year’s event and share their passion and enthusiasm for sport with the participants.
“Events like this illustrate the positive impact sport has on the local community. By working together with Active Schools and RGU to deliver the Youth Games we can encourage more children to get more active more often.”
Olympic gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE and chairman of The Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood CBE, have been amongst the Aberdeen Youth Games ambassadors since its launch.