A leading Scottish philanthropic charity has extended its support for an award-winning sport and culture project for primary and secondary school pupils in Aberdeen.
Following last year’s £10,000 award, The Wood Foundation has committed a further £50,000 over the next five years to the Aberdeen Youth Games which is delivered in partnership by Robert Gordon University (RGU) and Sport Aberdeen.
The funding of £10,000 a year will give organisers a strong foundation to develop and enhance the programme until 2020.
Launched in November 2013, the Aberdeen Youth Games has engaged thousands of pupils at 42 primary schools and 11 secondary schools across the city who participated in a number of sporting, health and cultural activities throughout the previous two school years.
The project culminates in May each year with a ‘Festival of Sport’ at Aberdeen Sports Villages which see more than 1,000 pupils try a number of different skills based sporting activities.
Olympic gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE and Chairman of The Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood CBE, have been ambassadors for the Aberdeen Youth Games since its launch. They were joined last year by north-east sport stars hockey player Leigh Fawcett, footballer Rachel Corsie and snowboarder Ben Kilner.
The aim of the Aberdeen Youth Games is to establish an innovative, sustainable and integrated citywide sport programme which promotes and increases physical activity, healthy lifestyles and key life skills amongst Aberdeen’s young people.
It does so by enabling university and college students from a range of subject areas to make a positive contribution to the Aberdeen community as part of their studies.
Sir Ian Wood said: “The Aberdeen Youth Games is a fantastic, positive project that has proved to be very successful in its first two years of delivery. Energising a large number of young people across the city while encouraging them to exercise and lead healthy, active lifestyles is an area The Wood Foundation takes great pride in supporting. “Through committing a five year investment, The Wood Foundation is looking forward to seeing the programme grow and we are confident of the impact it will have on energising and encouraging Aberdeen’s next generation.”
RGU’s Sport and Exercise Science team and Sport Aberdeen deliver the project in partnership and work with a range of additional partners, including North East Scotland College and First Bus to deliver the programme. Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU, leads the project and is eager to take the programme to the next level. He said: “We are delighted to have secured a five year commitment from The Wood Foundation to help us make the Aberdeen Youth Games even bigger and better.
“Sir Ian has supported the programme from the very beginning and has helped us to develop a number of activities for young people. Feedback from pupils, teachers and students has been overwhelmingly positive each year and we hope the project continues to inspire young people in the city to become more active, more often.”
“The project also allows us to continue providing students with work-related experiences which will increase their employability and help them prepare for the workplace.”
Graeme Dale, Senior Development Manager, Active Schools at Sport Aberdeen, said: “The support from The Wood Foundation is a huge boost for this unique programme which further enhances the impact of the Active Schools programme.
“Work is already well underway on planning the activities and event this year and we’re looking forward to getting started this term.”
Press release by Ross Anderson, Communications Officer, Health and Sport, Robert Gordon University