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‘Infectiously enthusiastic’ north-east youth worker will be ‘sorely missed’, colleagues say

Kenny Gibb
Kenny Gibb

An Aberdeenshire sporting stalwart, whose “infectious enthusiasm” is credited with improving the lives of hundreds of young people, has died.

Well-known basketball coach Kenny Gibb died suddenly at his home in Kintore last month.

The 59-year-old was renowned for his work with youngsters across the north-east and served as chairman of Aberdeenshire Sports Council.

Working for more than 10 years with the Streetsports project, Mr Gibb helped offer sporting and creative opportunities to youths who might otherwise turn to crime and antisocial behaviour.

Latterly, he was also involved in the Youth Resilience programme in Inverurie and Kemnay, devised to steer youths away from alcohol and drugs.

In a statement, Aberdeenshire Council said Mr Gibb made a large contribution to the success of projects by encouraging participation, increasing self-confidence and helping the young people involved to develop their life skills.

The local authority’s sporting organisation Life Live Aberdeenshire praised the the influence he had beyond Garioch, including Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banchory and Stonehaven.

Mr Gibb also mentored a number of pupils of Inverurie, Kemnay and Meldrum academies, where he was said to have provided that “extra” bit of experience, confidence and knowledge to help them succeed in life.

Avril Nicol, interim head of Live Life Aberdeenshire said: “Being involved with the young people and helping them progress, learn and achieve new skills was Kenny’s forte.

“When he was not available many young people would ask where he was and when he would be taking the sessions again.

“Kenny’s enthusiasm was infectious and attendance grew accordingly.

His input, enthusiasm, care and positive influence on young people will be missed greatly.”

Based at Leisureland in Inverurie, Mr Gibb worked on events including Active Schools cross-country races, triathlons and the Great Inverurie Bike Ride – although his true passion was for basketball.

A founder member of Garioch Basketball Club, he also established the first of Aberdeenshire Council’s summer basketball academies, with the model he created in Oldmeldrum later rolled out across the region.

Andrew Miller, who worked closely with Mr Gibb for the council, added: “Whether coaching, regaling us with tales of a round of golf at Kintore Golf Club on a fine day in the summer or simply having a blether, Kenny will be sorely missed – especially for the fun that he brought to the Active Schools programme.

“That has to be one of the best ways for us to remember Kenny.”

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