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Sir Ian Wood signs up as Aberdeen Youth Games Ambassador


Leading north-east businessman Sir Ian Wood CBE has added his backing to the Aberdeen Youth Games and agreed to become an ambassador for the award-winning project.

Sir Ian WoodRobert Gordon University’s (RGU) Sport and Exercise Science team and Sport Aberdeen are working in partnership to deliver the new initiative which will involve more than 1,000 primary school pupils from 36 schools across the city.

They will participate in a number of sporting and cultural activities this term, culminating in a Commonwealth Games themed Festival of Sport, which will be held at Aberdeen Sports Village on Friday, May 16.

The announcement of Sir Ian Wood’s ambassadorial role comes hot on the heels of another success for the project after it won the Gold Sporting Contribution Award at the Game Changer Awards in Glasgow earlier this month.

As an ambassador, Sir Ian, who is also the Chancellor of Robert Gordon University, will attend the Festival of Sport to talk to pupils about global citizenship, judge the Commonwealth themed ‘Inspire>Aspire’ posters and get involved in other activities.  He will also advise organisers on how to increase the scope of the project for the future.

Sir Ian said: “The Aberdeen Youth Games is a tremendous project which will reach a large number of young people across the city and motivate them to lead healthy and active lives as well as help them to develop strong global citizenship values.

“This is core to the activities of my family’s Charitable Trust, and is vital to the success of our future global world. The project has the opportunity to instil these values by celebrating the sport and the culture of the Commonwealth. I am very happy to be involved in the Aberdeen Youth Games which represents many topics close to my heart. ”

As part of the build up to the Festival of Sport more than 30 second year BSc (Hons) Applied Sports and Exercise Science 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.

Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU, leads the project and successfully gained support from Celebrate and Legacy 2014 to enable the final event to go ahead.

He said: “We are delighted Sir Ian has added his support to the Aberdeen Youth Games and look forward to welcoming him as an ambassador to the Festival of Sport.

“He is passionate about the values and importance of global citizenship, and the place sport has in celebrating and promoting this. Sir Ian’s support will inspire the pupils and students participating in the project.

“His backing is very important to the project and we look forward to working with him to build upon our success and create a lasting legacy of physical activity and global citizenship amongst generations of Aberdeen’s young people.”

Olympic rowing champion Dr Katherine Grainger CBE has also thrown her weight behind the project and will be at the Festival of Sport in her role as Aberdeen Youth Games Ambassador to cheer on the pupils who will take part.

Graeme Dale, Senior Development Manager, Active Schools at Sport Aberdeen, said: “To have secured both Katherine Grainger and Sir Ian Wood as ambassadors for the Aberdeen Youth Games is a great coup for the project.

“They bring a wealth of experience which will add significant value to what we’re working to achieve in Aberdeen and I’m sure the pupils are going to have a great time at the Festival of Sport."

There the pupils will represent Commonwealth countries and 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.

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