Aberdeen’s lord provost enjoyed a kickabout today as part of the city’s Summer of Play line-up.
The city council has a packed programme of fun lined up for youngsters this summer holiday to enable them to reconnect with friends and family while being active outdoors.
Today, Lord Provost Barney Crockett took part in a football coaching session at Northfield Academy, which is being delivered in partnership with Aberdeen Football Club’s Community Trust.
Mr Crockett said he was delighted with the uptake of the £418,000 programme so far and encouraged others to get involved as the holidays progress.
The Summer of Play programme was drawn up after a focus group asked children and young people what activities that had missed most during lockdown, and what they were most looking forward to doing again when restrictions eased.
‘An opportunity to take part in a fun, engaging and relaxed environment’
The involvement of children and young people is a key element of Aberdeen’s ongoing work towards becoming a Unicef-recognised Child Friendly City.
Mr Crockett said: “The levels of take-up among children and young people for activities across the city have been absolutely phenomenal and it’s just wonderful to see them outside enjoying themselves with friends and peers after the challenging year they have faced over the last fifteen months.
“At the outset of our ambitious programme, we were determined to restore some normality and the love of outdoor and creative events that children and young people have but of which the Covid-19 pandemic has cruelly deprived them.”
The programme has prioritised low-income families, who have experienced the most significant negative impacts associated with extended periods of isolation and lack of participation in normal activities during the pandemic.
Liz Bowie, chief executive of AFCCT, said: “We wanted to give children across Aberdeen City an opportunity to take part in a fun, engaging and relaxed environment, participating in football and multi-sports throughout the summer after such a challenging year.
“AFCCT coaches build positive, open relationships with the young people to support them in a dynamic, energetic and creative way. The Summer of Play programme sees a huge range of activities, completely free to users across the city from sports to science, arts and crafts to interaction with the city’s wildlife and green spaces.”