Katherine Grainger named as Aberdeen Youth Games Ambassador

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE has been unveiled as an ambassador for this year’s inaugural Aberdeen Youth Games.

Olympic rower Katherine Grainger with her London 2012 gold medal. Picture courtesy of Dan Towers, onedition media.The initiative, which has been organised by Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Sport and Exercise Science team and Sport Aberdeen, was launched in November last year and will see more than 1,500 pupils from across the city take part.

They will participate in a number of activities this term, culminating in a final Commonwealth Games themed sports festival, which will be held this spring.

The British rower and London 2012 gold medallist, who was born in Glasgow and brought up in Aberdeen, has agreed to champion the initiative as an ambassador and will attend the festival at Aberdeen Sports Village on Friday, May 16.

As part of her role as Aberdeen Youth Games ambassador Katherine Grainger will send inspirational messages to pupils involved in the project and provide insight and encouragement throughout the day at the sports festival.

She said: “I’m very proud to have been asked to be an ambassador for this fantastic initiative. The Aberdeen Youth Games is an excellent project which will introduce a wide range of sports to hundreds of children across the city and encourage them to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

“A lot of work has gone into organising the project and I’m looking forward to being in Aberdeen for the sports festival to cheer on all of the pupils taking part.”

Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU, is leading the project and said securing Katherine Grainger as an ambassador is a real coup for the organising team.

He said: “Having a world class athlete like Katherine Grainger as an ambassador for the Aberdeen Youth Games is great news and we look forward to working with her to promote the project to as many primary school pupils in Aberdeen as possible.

“We hope Katherine’s involvement in 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.”

Aberdeen Youth Games LogoThe Aberdeen Youth Games aims to give pupils in the city an opportunity to try new sports, become motivated to lead physically activity and healthy lives, and develop their global citizenship.

As part of the build up to the Aberdeen Youth Games 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 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 the initiative is a natural progression of the work Active Schools co-ordinators regularly provide across the city.

He said: “The Aberdeen Youth Games will highlight the large number of benefits there are for children by combining education and physical activity.

“This is a fantastic initiative which will enable us to invest in a lasting legacy in the city which celebrates the Commonwealth Games. With Katherine Grainger’s support the project will go from strength-to-strength as we approach the sporting festival.”

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

At the sports festival pupils will represent their country during an opening ceremony 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.

Alongside the sports coaching sessions, 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 with their Commonwealth Partner School to develop a better understanding of that country’s culture. The posters will also be put on display at Aberdeen Sports Village during the sports festival 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 baton design competition was launched last month and packs were recently sent to each participating school encouraging pupils of all ages to take part. Schools involved will first hold their own competitions to choose the design they will put forward to the final competition.

A design will then be selected from each of Aberdeen’s ‘Associated School Groups’ (ASGs), and the pupils responsible for them will be invited to participate in a 3D modelling event at Gray’s School of Art on Wednesday, February 26.

During the workshop pupils will be assisted by Gray’s staff and students to build models of their baton designs using upcycled and recycled materials.

The overall winning design and model will then be created by Gray’s and used in the baton relay before becoming the centrepiece for the final event.

For more information about the Aberdeen Youth Games, please visit:

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Jack MilnerPlacement student | Communications office