Denis Law was a will o’ the wisp on the football field, inspiring his teammates and supporters alike with his goals, gallus celebrations and golden feet.
A proud son of Aberdeen, who grew up in the Woodside area of the city, the Lawman has always been determined that youngsters should never be denied the opportunity to play sport because they can’t afford it.
Hence his involvement in and backing for the Denis Law Legacy Trust, which oversees the innovative Streetsport initiative, run in conjunction with Robert Gordon University, has been the catalyst for the creation of two Cruyff Courts (a third is currently being constructed in Tillydrone), and has built bridges between local communities, schools, and the police, and encouraged scores of kids to be volunteers.
Volunteering was a positive experience for Aiden
Aiden Gordon is one of the shining examples of what can be achieved through the trust’s many activities. As a university student with no great passion for football, he maybe wasn’t an obvious choice to join the ranks. But he did and, after receiving a special certificate last week, explained why it has been such a positive experience.
He said: “Volunteering with Streetsport has really helped me improve both my physical health and mental well-being. It offered me a place where I could just get away from my university studies for a few hours every week and disconnect for a bit which really helped me refocus on things that were more important in my life.
“Streetsport also gave me a chance to get out and get to know people of all ages from my local community, which has really helped me get back into socialising after being stuck inside so long during Covid.
Different organisations pulling together
“I was quite anxious at first. I had never volunteered before and wasn’t really sure what to expect.”
Aiden added: “I was worried I would do things wrong or get in the way, but once I went along and started chatting with other volunteers and staff, I was put at ease right away.
“They were really helpful in showing what needed done and gave me an opportunity to slot right into the regular routine of the session.”
The regular use of mobile sports arenas has allowed the team to get right into the heart of communities across the city and created a platform for staff and volunteers to form partnerships with the most vulnerable young people.
It’s an example of the positive effects of different organisations pulling together in a common cause and being the catalyst for genuine progress, especially at a time when many youngsters are facing challenges.
A great way for students to help
As Aiden said: “I’d recommend to anyone that is considering volunteering to definitely give Streetsport a try, it has a massive positive impact not only on the local community and young people that come to the sessions, but on me too.
“You will learn a lot through volunteering with Streetsport whilst teaching quite a bit to the young people who attend, it’s just a huge net positive for everyone involved.
“There aren’t many opportunities for students to support the local community on a schedule that fits their timetable, but Streetsport offers that and more.”
In anybody’s language, it’s a win-win situation. No wonder Denis Law is happy that this impressive scheme bears his name.
Further information can be found at www.denislawlegacytrust.org/