Aberdeen leisure centre bands together with charity to support people with additional support needs

Phionna McInnes, second right, with Keith Gerrard, centre, and leisure staff a the launch of their the bands
Phionna McInnes, second right, with Keith Gerrard, centre, and leisure staff a the launch of their the bands

A new scheme has been launched as part of a bid to boost the confidence of those with additional support needs.

Sport Aberdeen and magazine Me Too! are behind the boost bands project at the Beach Leisure Centre.

The wrist bands, which are optional, subtly notify trained staff of any hidden disabilities.

It is thought the initiative, designed to encourage people of any age or ability to take part in physical activity, is the first of its kind in Scotland.

Sport Aberdeen director of operations Keith Gerrard said: “Boost bands are designed to empower those who choose to wear them by creating communication and common understanding between participants and staff. Sport Aberdeen is proud to be working with Me Too! to champion a move to get more people more active regardless of age or ability and we are committed to inspiring people to take part in sport and physical activity in the north-east.”

Anyone who wants one of the silicone wristbands can obtain one for free from a member of staff at the leisure centre. Sport Aberdeen and Me Too! have previously worked together to promote participation for all, regardless of age or ability with relaxed swimming and skate sessions.

And the boost bands scheme will eventually be expanded to include all Sport Aberdeen venues.

Phionna McInnes, Me Too! chief executive, said: “Me Too! is delighted to see our ongoing relationship with Sport Aberdeen continue with the introduction of boost bands.

“Boost bands can empower parent/carers to have confidence to allow their cared for individual to have increased independence without having to explain to multiple staff members of their additional support needs.

“This is a discreet communication tool that allows staff to understand they may have to adapt their approach or language.

“For example, this may be beneficial for hearing impaired participants who remove their hearing aids when entering the water.”