A leading sport and inclusivity project for young people in Aberdeen, endorsed by Aberdeen’s very own football legend Denis Law, has appealed for corporate sponsors to support the initiative.
The Denis Law Legacy Trust and Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Streetsport team deliver a range of activities and sports to provide positive alternatives for young people in their communities during the evenings.
Established in 2006 and based in RGU: SPORT, Denis Law’s Streetsport actively reduces instances of youth crime and anti-social behaviour and promotes health and wellbeing and creative endeavour.
The project uses a mobile activity arena in targeted locations throughout the city, taking activities directly to young people within their own communities.
The Streetsport team are out and about five nights a week, 48 weeks of the year, and more than 3,500 young people regularly participate in sessions on an annual basis in a variety of different locations around Aberdeen.
Following this success, the Streetsport partnership network has grown to involve a number of local agencies in its annual calendar of activities across the north-east and regularly collaborates with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership and Sport Aberdeen amongst others.
The project is currently seeking additional sponsorship and corporate support in order to continue to deliver its activities.
Streetsport development officer Tom Holt is looking for companies to contribute support towards the project’s range of activities, and help to fund the purchase of a new van.
He said: “Streetsport has helped eliminate barriers with hard-to-reach young people and fostered a sense of social value and belonging within communities.
“The project has demonstrated measurable results in a number of areas including crime reduction and anti-social behaviour, which in some instances is down by more than 50 percent when we are around.
“In order to continue with our activities we require a new van to enable us to deliver our arena into the city. The current van has served us well but it has seen better days.”
In an effort to assist with funds the Denis Law Legacy Trust hosts an annual fundraising dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen every May.
At this years event, Tom had the honour of walking in to the dining suite with Denis Law, both holding the Scottish League Cup which was won by Aberdeen Football Club earlier this year.
Tom said: “Walking in with Denis Law holding the league Cup Trophy was an experience I will never forget. As our Patron Denis puts a tremendous amount of effort and energy into the charity and as a proud Aberdonian he is delighted to see the positive impact it has within our local communities.”
The Streetsport temporary arena is deployed into the community at targeted strategic sites across Aberdeen city which include seven priority neighbourhoods highlighted by the Scottish Government as being in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland.
The project has engaged with a high number of disaffected young people who are considered at risk of offending, from the pressures and challenging circumstances within their communities.
It also influences and reduces the number of complaints and reports made to the emergency services relating to anti-social behaviour, youth crime and wilful fire raising.
Aberdeen City Council Housing and Environment Convener, Councillor Neil Cooney, supports the project which visits his local area of Kincorth.
He said: "Aberdeen City Council is delighted to sponsor and support Streetsport. Since the project was introduced it has made a positive impact in all of the communities it serves. Engaging our young people in sporting activities helps reduce antisocial behaviour and also contributes to better health and wellbeing.
“I would also like to acknowledge the volunteers who are essential to delivering Streetsport in our communities. It is highly appropriate that one of the city’s greatest ambassadors, Denis Law, lends his support to the project and I hope it helps to produce future footballing greats and ambassadors for the local community."
Diversionary activities like Streetsport are used to enhance wellness and contribute to healthier urban communities. The project also facilitates interaction with a number of key stakeholders across the city including Police Officers; Fire Crews; Community Wardens; Active Schools Coordinators; Social and Street Based Youth Workers.
It also aids the development of communication, interpersonal and soft skills including leadership; interaction; negotiation; team working and compromise and improves opportunities for education and employability whilst enabling members of the community to volunteer and gain valuable experience and qualifications.