Pupils at a Banff primary school have won a once-in-a-lifetime training day at Aberdeen Football Club’s Cormack Park.
King Edward Primary School scooped the prize by having the highest percentage of their school roll signed up to the AberDNA Junior scheme – the club’s free under-12s initiative aimed at building the next generation of the Red Army.
As soon as it is safe to do so, the pupils will travel to state-of-the-art training ground in one of Dons’ buses for a day-out to remember. They will get a chance to see where the first team train, before participating in a coaching masterclass led by Aberdeen FC Community Trust coaches.
Audrey Clark, the delighted headteacher at King Edward primary, said: “Everyone who knows me will know that I am one very excited headteacher.
“We are absolutely delighted to have won this very special, once-in-a-lifetime, money-can’t-buy prize.
“We have worked closely with Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust for a couple of years now and the coaches have sparked enthusiasm for the club and football, while helping our pupils to develop essential skills for life such as leadership, resilience and confidence.
“Their excellent work has continued all through lockdown and has been a big part of our health and wellbeing curriculum.
“I thank everyone at Aberdeen Football Club on behalf of our children and families and can’t wait for our special day out – this fantastic news couldn’t have come at a better time, it has put big smiles on all our faces.”
Aberdeen captain and goalkeeper Joe Lewis was first to congratulate the winning school, saying: “Congratulations to all the pupils at King Edward Primary School on winning this fantastic prize.
“I know they’re all huge Dons fans, so I’m sure it will be a really memorable experience for them to be able to train like the first team at the professional facilities we have at Cormack Park.
“It’s been great to see so many youngsters get involved in this competition as it underlines the benefits of being part of the AberDNA Junior membership programme.
“We want all youngsters in the north-east to have an affinity with the club and truly feel part of the AFC family.
“With exciting prizes such as this up for grabs, there has never been a better time for youngsters to be part of the Dons.”
For those who missed out on this prize, don’t fret. There is still a chance for AberDNA Junior members to win an Adidas football for every pupil in their school and the chance to win a first team squad number for the remainder of the 2020/21 season, with more details available here.
What is AberDNA Junior?
Launched last March, AberDNA Junior offers every child under 12 free membership of AFC as part of the club’s aim to nurture the next generation of fans.
The Evening Express and Press and Journal have been working with the Dons to promote the initiative, with more than 6,900 members now signed up.
There are ambitious targets for the scheme, with Aberdeen aiming to reach more than 40,000 primary pupils in Aberdeen City and Shire and sign up 15,000 by August 2021.
Each member will be invited to Pittodrie to ceremonially “sign for the Dons” when it is safe to do so, in addition to being able to enjoy two matches at Pittodrie as part of their membership.
Junior members will also be issued a welcome pack which includes limited-edition collectable cards, featuring club captain Lewis and midfielder Ross McCrorie.
To get involved sign up at afc.co.uk/aberdna/junior or phone 01224 63 1903.