Aberdeen Youth Games launched for city pupils

Primary school pupils across Aberdeen will get the chance to participate and compete in a city-wide Commonwealth Games-themed sporting festival next year.

The Aberdeen Youth Games will see around 1,500 pupils take part in a number of projects culminating in a final event which will be held at Aberdeen Sports Village on Friday, 16 May, 2014.

The six-month project, which is being run by Robert Gordon University (RGU)’s Sport and Exercise Science team and Sport Aberdeen, was launched at Kaimhill Primary School in Garthdee, on Friday, November 15.

As part of the initiative, more than 30 second year BSc (Hons) Applied Sports and Exercise students from RGU will receive training in netball, badminton and athletics coaching, and deliver these sports to P4 to P7 pupils across the city as part of their work placements in the New Year.

Each school which signs up to participate in the project will also be assigned a Commonwealth country with the aim of linking them to a partner school in that country.

At the festival pupils will represent their country and compete in badminton, netball and athletics, and have the opportunity to receive tasters in seven additional sports such as judo, table tennis and rugby. Demonstrations of four other sports such as swimming, diving and cycling, will also be given on the day.

Aberdeen Youth Games LogoBryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU is leading the project and aims to involve all 50 primary schools in the city.

He said: “The Aberdeen Youth Games is an exciting initiative which will see RGU students provide sports coaching to primary school pupils across the city and teach them about the Commonwealth. We hope it will inspire a generation of young people in Aberdeen to become more active, more often.

“The project will provide four weeks of sports coaching and global citizenship, culminating a fun day of activities as part of the final event. Alongside the immediate benefits it provides a unique opportunity to create a meaningful and sustainable event for the young people of Aberdeen which will include the key themes of innovation, partnership working and healthy lifestyles.”

As part of the initiative there will be a range of exciting opportunities for schools and pupils to get involved. Pupils have been challenged to design a baton for the Aberdeen Youth Games before coaching begins.

Kaimhill Primary School pupils Jubilee Lawani and Murray Forbes.Each school will put forward their best design, with pupils then being invited to Gray’s School of Art to create models from their drawings. The winning design will be manufactured by a graduate-in-residence at Gray’s School of Art and used in a mini relay between participating schools in the build-up to the event.

Alongside the coaching sessions, pupils will also learn about the Commonwealth and develop their global citizenship through education activities and the completion of ‘Inspire>Aspire’ posters. They will work on these with their Commonwealth Partner School so that they have a better understanding of the country they will represent at the final event in May.

Graeme Dale, Senior Development Manager, Active Schools at Sport Aberdeen said the initiative is a natural progression of the work Active Schools co-ordinators regularly provide across the city.

He said: “This project will highlight the large number of benefits there are for children through combining education and physical activity. The Aberdeen Youth Games is a fantastic initiative which will enable us to celebrate and invest in a lasting legacy in the city which celebrates the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”

Kaimhill Primary School pupils attended the launch of Aberdeen Youth Games with Sport Aberdeen mascot McMurtle the Turtle.To ensure the festival runs smoothly two RGU Events Management students have also been recruited to plan the event at Aberdeen Sports Village and offer logistical support throughout the project. A large number of student volunteers from the university will also be involved on the day.

Gray’s School of Art graduate in residence Steven Bremner (25) has also designed a distinctive logo for the initiative which incorporates the initials of the event into a flowing running track design.

More than £6,000 in funding has been secured for the project from the Celebrate Fund which supports communities across Scotland to come together to hold arts, heritage and sports celebrations of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and to create a legacy of community and Commonwealth connections.

Organisers of the Aberdeen Youth Games are seeking corporate sponsorship for the event to enhance participant experience and increase the likelihood of continued physical activity participation.

Bronze, Silver, Gold and Legacy sponsorship packages are available for organisations to support different elements of the project such as the baton relay or opening ceremony which also provide opportunities for staff involvement.

Interested organisations are invited to contact Bryan McCann to receive a sponsorship proposal pack.

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport