Children are being encouraged to keep active on the day of what would have been the seventh annual Aberdeen Youth Games.
The citywide initiative run by Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools team, Robert Gordon University (RGU) and North East Scotland College (NEScol), with support from the Wood Foundation, was supposed to culminate today in a Festival of Health at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV).
However, the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisers to cancel the event, which was set to celebrate the 200 student coaches who deliver sporting activities to primary kids over the course of the school year. More than 400 older pupils took part in a separate secondary Youth Games at ASV earlier in 2020.
Oil and gas tycoon Sir Ian Wood, who – alongside supporting the Aberdeen Youth Games through his family foundation – serves as one of the event’s high-profile ambassadors, underlined the organisers’ commitment to delivering the Games in 2021, while also stressing the importance of “healthy lifestyles and exercise” for youngsters.
He said: “The Aberdeen Youth Games ‘Festival of Sport’ is always a wonderful day and a great opportunity to see so many young people come together to enjoy sport.
“What’s more important is that healthy lifestyles and exercise are essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Schools have a vital role to play in this area and can be well supported in this through partnerships like this.
“Unfortunately, this event is yet another casualty of Covid-19 and it is sad we’re missing this year’s programme. However, we are pleased to be in a position to realign our funding to delivery in 2021 and will once again enjoy what is an outstanding day in our philanthropic calendar.”
Graeme Dale, Sport Aberdeen head of sport and active communities, said: “The initiative has become a hugely anticipated and enjoyable event in Aberdeen’s school sporting calendar, and it underlines the importance of keeping young people active in a fun environment whilst giving students invaluable experience.
“We are proud to continue working with RGU and NESCol to deliver the games and the effort which the Active Schools team put in to help foster a culture of physical activity amongst young people in the city is admirable. Thanks to the continuing support of The Wood Foundation, the Aberdeen Youth Games will return next year and the partnership will now use this time to start planning on how 2021 can be the best yet.
“In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to keep an eye on the Sport Aberdeen website and social channels where you can find a multitude of free resources aimed at keeping young people healthy, active and motivated during this challenging time.”
Sport Aberdeen has created an online hub of free resources specifically designed for children and families; helping to keep everyone active while schools and extracurricular activities are on hold due to the ongoing pandemic. Visit https://www.sportaberdeen.co.uk/get-active-home-junior
In addition to this, Sport Aberdeen and their partners have produced a cut-out activity card below which contains ideas for exercises and challenges to keep kids active on the day when hundreds would have been taking part in activities at ASV: