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Aberdeen Youth Games scoops Gold Game Changer Award


The Aberdeen Youth Games project has scooped a prestigious prize at a national awards ceremony to celebrate higher education’s contribution to help deliver a lasting legacy for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

L to R: CEO of Glasgow 2014, David Grevembreg, Bryan McCann from RGU, Michael Russell MSP and Stuart Reid from Sport Aberdeen.The project won the Gold Sporting Contribution Award at the Game Changer Awards organised by Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland, and backed by Legacy 2014 and the Scottish Funding Council, in Glasgow on Thursday, April 3.

Representatives from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and Sport Aberdeen, who are working in partnership to deliver the project, collected the award at a glittering ceremony for more than 275 guests at the city’s atmospheric Old Fruitmarket in Candleriggs.

Scottish comedian and broadcaster Fred MacAulay acted as the master of ceremonies for the evening and special guests included members of the Scottish Government and Glasgow 2014 officials.

The Aberdeen Youth Games aims to motivate primary school pupils in the city to lead healthy and active lives, and develop their global citizenship, through celebrating the sport and culture of the Commonwealth.

Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU, leads the project which will culminate in a Festival of Sport at Aberdeen Sports Village on Friday, May 16.

He said: “We are very proud that the Aberdeen Youth Games has been recognised with a Gold Game Changer Award. A lot of work is being done to make sure this is a successful and sustainable project which will help create a lasting sporting legacy in the city following the Commonwealth Games. The award recognises all this hard work.

“We hope this exciting initiative will inspire the next generation of young people in Aberdeen to pick up new sports and be able to enjoy them into the future.”

Olympic rowing champion Dr Katherine Grainger CBE has thrown her weight behind the project, which was launched last year, and will be at the Festival of Sport next month in her role as Aberdeen Youth Games Ambassador to encourage and cheer on the 1,000 school pupils taking part.

A total of 36 primary schools have signed up to participate in the Aberdeen Youth Games and have been assigned a Commonwealth country which they will represent during the opening ceremony and in skills-based sport competitions throughout the day.

As part of the build up to the Festival of Sport more than 30 second year BSc (Hons) Applied Sports and Exercise students from RGU have received training in netball, badminton and athletics coaching.

They will deliver coaching in these sports to pupils across the city as part of their work placements through Sport Aberdeen this semester.

Graeme Dale, Senior Development Manager, Active Schools at Sport Aberdeen, said: “Winning the Gold Award is a fantastic achievement for the Aberdeen Youth Games and the project is going from strength to strength as we get closer to the Festival of Sport.

“The students have completed their coaching training and are eager to start their placements where they will build on our Active Schools programme and deliver sports sessions for pupils across the city.”

At the Festival of Sport, pupils will compete in badminton, netball and athletics, and have the opportunity to receive tasters in hockey, table tennis and rugby. Demonstrations of other sports such as squash, weightlifting and cycling, will also be given on the day, along with a number of other exciting activities.

Alongside the sports coaching sessions at school, pupils will learn about the Commonwealth and develop their global citizenship through education activities and the completion of ‘Inspire>Aspire’ posters.

They will work on these to develop a better understanding of their allocated Commonwealth country’s culture. The posters will then be put on display at Aberdeen Sports Village during the Festival of Sport where Katherine Grainger will help choose the winning design.

As part of the build-up to the final event a baton relay will be held between each of the participating primary schools. A design competition was held earlier this year which saw pupils invited to Gray’s School of Art to finalise their designs and create 3D models of their work.

The overall winning design and model will be created by Gray’s and used in the baton relay before becoming the centrepiece for the Festival of Sport.

For more information about the Aberdeen Youth Games, please visit: www.rgu.ac.uk/aberdeen-youth-games

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport