How can we help you...

Aberdeen community sports hub aims to generate sporting legacy

30/05/14

A new community sports hub is set to be launched in Aberdeen - with less then 50 days to go before the Commonwealth Games get under way.

Aberdeen City Council, Sport Aberdeen, Bucksburn Academy and local sports clubs have come together to form the Bucksburn Community Sports Hub.

The initiative aims to improve the profile of sport in the area, increase participation across a range of sports and encourage more people to volunteer.

The Bucksburn Hub is keen to capitalise on the Commonwealth Games buzz and will hold a launch event, from 10am to 2pm on Sunday 08 June at the Beacon Centre and Bucksburn Academy Campus, Kepplehills Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

This free event will give participants of all ages (from 5 years of age and over) the opportunity to try a new activity or get back into sport. Sports on offer include basketball, cricket, netball, volleyball, squash, table tennis, cheerleading and football.

Families are welcome and club coaches will be on hand to give hints and tips in each of the sports. A crèche will be available at the Beacon Centre for families who wish to attend the launch. Spaces are limited so advance booking is recommended.

Sport Aberdeen is offering free swimming sessions for under-18s and half price swimming for adults during the event. The launch will finish with the member sports clubs competing against each other in an "It's a Knockout" style event.

The Bucksburn Hub is one of five being established in Aberdeen as part of a national community sports hub initiative - which is a key part of sportscotland's contribution to Legacy 2014. Hubs aim to increase the number of people participating in sport within local communities by improving access and supporting local clubs to work together. The aim is to establish at least 150 hubs across Scotland by 2015.

The hubs will vary from area to area. They can be based around local facilities such as sports centres, community centres, the natural environment and schools or can be a network of sports clubs sharing best practice and training opportunities. They will bring local people together and provide a home for local clubs and organisations. Each must be sustainable and most have set up steering groups to provide strategic direction and ensure the aims of the hub are met.

Each hub will be unique but they will all work to the following five principles:
   •  growth in participation;
   •  understanding community needs;
   •  supporting community leadership;
   •  offering a range of sports;
   •  ensuring all of the appropriate groups are working together.

Leader of Aberdeen City Council Jenny Laing, who is also the Convener of Education, Culture and Sport, said: "We want to build on the momentum generated by the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to continue to improve the use of, and access to, facilities for physical activity and competitive sport and in doing so, bring communities together to enjoy the social and wellbeing benefits of physical activity.

"The development of the community sports hubs will allow individuals and communities access to sport in a sustainable way by developing genuine community leadership and engagement which will be beneficial to the clubs that are part of our sports hubs and the local communities they serve."

Mark Pain, Aberdeen City Council community sports hubs development manager, added: "Each of the five hubs is designed to allow sports clubs and associations to make closer connections with each other and their local community, by building a sustainable structure or network which will support a legacy of innovative partnership working well after the Commonwealth Games have finished."

Sally Carns, chair, Bucksburn Netball Club, said: "We are a new club and being part of the hub will open doors and opportunities in terms of training and education with other clubs and sports in the local area. With our entire junior club membership coming from Bucksburn, Kingswells and Dyce and more than 50 percent of our adult membership from the local community being part of the hub is perfect for our club as we want to offer as many sporting opportunities as possible to local residents."

The other hubs being developed include Albury Outdoor Sports Centre in Ferryhill, the West End-based Rubislaw hub, Cults and Northfield. Membership is open to all clubs in Aberdeen. If interest is shown by other clubs, consideration will be given to the development of hubs in other areas of the city.

To register to attend the Bucksburn launch event, to reserve a place at the crèche or to get more information on the initiative, please contact: Mark Pain, tel (01224) 522027, or email communitysportshubs@aberdeencity.gov.uk