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Golden Games enters fourth year bigger and better than ever


Aberdeen's Golden Games will enter its fourth year next month – expanded to four days of wide-ranging sports and physical activities for older people.

The award-winning free festival will feature more than 30 different activities at 27 venues this year, spread right across the city, from Tuesday 10 June to Friday 13 June.

The programme gets under way on the Tuesday with gym sessions, health walks, swimming, skiing, circuit training, croquet, rock climbing, chi gung Chinese exercise, and a chair-based ceilidh.

Activities continue on the Wednesday with a dance workshop, badminton, a learn-to-swim session, otago strength and balance, musical aerobics, aqua aerobics, swimming, outdoor bowling and a pentathlon event for care homes.

Thursday's events include golf tuition, table tennis, dance, ice skating, swimming, walking football, a health walk, an exercise class, 10-pin bowling, a technogym session, pentathlon, and learn-to-swim.

The Golden Games concludes on the Friday with Nordic walking, walking netball, walking football, snowboarding, outdoor bowling, tennis, aqua zumba, pool and more swimming.

Activities are being held across Aberdeen at –
    •  Bon Accord Centre
    •  Jesmond Centre
    •  Peterculter, Alex Collie, Kincorth, Beacon, Sheddocksley and Torry Sports Centres
    •  Aberdeen Sports Village
    •  Aberdeen Snowsport Centre
    •  Beach Leisure Centre
    •  Dyce
    •  Hazlehead Park
    •  Transition Extreme
    •  Aberdeen Health Village
    •  Bridge of Don, Kincorth and Tullos Pools
    •  Albury and Westburn Outdoor Centres and Westburn Tennis Centre
    •  King's Links Driving Range
    •  Linx Ice Arena
    •  Kingswells Community Centre
    •  Codona's
    •  Pittodrie Stadium
    •  Cults and Aberdeen Bowling Clubs.

Participants in the Golden Games can also look forward to an early evening social event at Pittodrie Stadium at the close of the programme, from 6-8pm on Friday 13 June. This year, participants can take along their Accord Card to the activities, where it will be loaded with electronic vouchers entitling them to free teas and coffees at cafés across the city.

Last year's three-day Golden Games lifted a top prize in the Association for Public Service Excellence Awards 2013, beating off competition from seven other local authorities from across the UK to win in the Best Health and Wellbeing category.

The initiative is a partnership between Aberdeen City Council, Sport Aberdeen, Aberdeen Sports Village and NHS Grampian, and aims to encourage older people to become as active as possible, to boost their health, and to get out and meet new people. The programme can be enjoyed by people of all abilities and the Games aims to provide further opportunities for people to maintain their involvement in the sports and physical activities year-round.

Aberdeen City Council Social Care, Wellbeing and Safety convener Councillor Len Ironside CBE said: "The Golden Games is going into its fourth year in excellent shape and now with a national award under its belt. It is a truly excellent initiative, which has brought fun activities and new friendships to many hundreds of older people in Aberdeen.

"For 2014 we are laying on more activities than ever before and at the widest range of venues we have ever used. It's a great chance for people to try out something new or to revive their interest in a sport they used to enjoy. I would encourage anyone who wants to stay fit and active into later life to come along and give something a try."

Charles Muir, Chair of Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership and Vice-Chair of the NHS Grampian Board, said: "We are all very aware of how important physical activity is to our health and wellbeing. The Golden Games is an inspiring and joyous event that gives those of us with more years behind us great opportunities to enjoy the rich range of sport and sports facilities the city has to offer.

"We are proud to be a co-founder and partner in this award-winning, multi-agency initiative. It is also a fine example of continued integrated working in Aberdeen. My thanks go to everyone involved in providing this superb range of activities."

Stephen Gammack, Sport Aberdeen's Active Ageing co-ordinator, said: "The Golden Games is a unique opportunity, unmatched in Scotland, for older adults to try a diverse range of activities in a fun and friendly environment. The emphasis is on fun, social participation so it really is for all."

Booking is essential for anyone wanting to take part, including attending the social evening – call Sport Aberdeen on 0845 608 0935. If you get through to an answer machine, please leave a message and booking staff will call you back as soon as possible. Calls are charged at the local rate. The full programme is on the Sport Aberdeen website.