Residents at Tor-Na-Dee Care Home participate in regular physical activity throughout the year and have taken part in the Golden Games for the last five years.

Staff have worked to bring the Golden Games to the care home this year after the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that everyone can take part in a fun, active and inclusive activity, benefitting both mental and physical health.

It has been particularly important to keep the residents motivated during the lockdown; with no visitors allowed to ensure the safety of everyone, regular exercise has been keeping everyone active and entertained.

The Golden Games, delivered by a range of citywide partners and organisations, usually takes pace in June offering older adults the chance to take part in a wide range of activities completely free of charge. This year would have marked the 10th anniversary of the event.

On behalf of the Golden Games steering group, Sport Aberdeen Healthy Communities Manager Andrinne Craig said:

“On behalf of everyone involved in the Golden Games I would like to congratulate the staff and residents at Tor-Na-Dee Care Home for embracing the ethos of the games during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we look forward to welcoming them to the 10th Golden Games in due course.

“Now more than ever before it is important to look after our physical and mental wellbeing and we would encourage all of our participants to follow this great example and remain active where possible.

“Anyone looking for inspiration at this time can find it for free on the Sport Aberdeen website through online workout cards, exercise class videos and weekly top-tips from Sport Aberdeen’s Healthy Communities team.”

Louise Argo, Wellbeing Coordinator at Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“I have been a member of the Golden Games steering group for three years now and can honestly say it’s the highlight of my working year. Seeing older adults embrace new challenges and breakdown stereotypes is so inspiring.

“A highlight for me is the care home pentathlon which sees residents of various care homes compete for the coveted trophy. Everyone leaves with a medal, a smile and a sense of achievement.

“We need to keep moving regardless of our age and the wonderful Golden Games allows this to happen. Looking forward to rescheduling the games for a time our older adults will need it the most.”

Anna Phillips, Lifestyle Coordinator at Tor-Na-Dee Care Home, said:

“We take part in the games every year and they have always been much enjoyed and appreciated. What makes them special is that we get to be with other homes in joyful competition. The competitive element brings the best out in our residents and of course that they get to bring back a medal to show for it. I think the Wellbeing team has done well adjusting to different budgets and venues. We are sorry to miss them this year.”

Partners look forward to getting together later in the year to plan for the next Golden Games event and will release further details as soon as possible.

Golf Aberdeen, part of award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen, is set to reopen the city’s four public golf courses after Scotland’s First Minister confirmed on Thursday that some outdoor activities, including golf, can resume operating.

The MacKenzie Championship, Hazlehead Pines, Balnagask and the Kings Links will all reopen on Friday 29th May, following more than two months of closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Alistair Robertson, Sport Aberdeen Managing Director, commented:

“The news that we have the go-ahead to reopen Golf Aberdeen for business is very warmly welcomed and I am thrilled to be easing some of our services out of the enforced lockdown. Our loyal members will be delighted, as we know how frustrating the closure has been, especially with the great weather we have had. Our green keepers have been working incredibly hard to ensure that the courses will be ready, and they are in fantastic condition, with many people stating that they are in the best condition seen in decades.”

The Golf Aberdeen team has been busy behind the scenes and a lot of preparation has gone into ensuring that golf will operate safely in the current circumstances. The organisation is asking all golfers to be aware of the new stringent protocols that have had to be put in place to comply with social distancing, and all courses will operate under the new guidelines and operating procedures. It is important that all golfers check these out before planning to play.

This will include changes to the booking process, with bookings to be made in advance through the Golf Aberdeen online booking service, and pre-paid if not a Golf Aberdeen member. A limit of two-balls will apply, with 10-minute playing intervals.

Full details on how to book golf and play safely are being issued to members, with full details also available on the Sport Aberdeen website. Booking will open to Golf Aberdeen and Sport Aberdeen Get Active 5 members from Tuesday 26th May and to casual pay and play customers from Friday 29th May. Further information can be found at www.sportaberdeen.co.uk

Robertson added, “I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has, and continues to, support Sport Aberdeen through the coronavirus outbreak. The anticipation from our golf members on the courses reopening has been amazing, and based on the levels of enquiry already received, I anticipate a very busy few days. We can’t wait.”

The First Minister has confirmed that golf will be included in Phase One of the Scottish Government’s plan to ease current restrictions, and that implementing Phase One is expected to be possible after 28 May.

We are therefore delighted to announce that the MacKenzie Championship Course, Hazlehead Pines, Balnagask and the Kings Links will all reopen on Friday 29 May.

Online booking will open to Golf Aberdeen and Sport Aberdeen Get Active 5 members from Tuesday 26 May and to casual pay-and-play customers from Friday 29 May.  

Become a member

Full details on booking procedures and golfing protocols will be issued to members and shared on the Sport Aberdeen website on Monday 25 May.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to Golf Aberdeen!

Thousands of school children from across Aberdeen would have been gearing up for the city’s largest free sporting extravaganza this week, marking the 7th annual Aberdeen Youth Games (AYG).

The event is a citywide initiative developed in partnership with registered charity Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools team, Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the North East Scotland College (NESCol) with ongoing support from The Wood Foundation.  

Over 200 student coaches were set to deliver activities in primary schools, culminating in the Festival of Health at the Aberdeen Sports Village which would have taken place today (22 May).

The 2020 primary programme kicked off at a launch event held at RGU in March, after last year saw a record-breaking number of pupils take part. However, this year’s finale has sadly been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

This event followed on from a hugely successful secondary youth games programme that deployed RGU students into secondary schools and hosted a festival where over 400 pupils took part in five different sports earlier in the year.

Olympic gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE and Chairman of The Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood CBE, have been amongst the AYG ambassadors since its launch in 2014.

Graeme Dale, Sport Aberdeen Head of Sport and Active Communities, said:

“The initiative has become a hugely anticipated and enjoyable event in Aberdeen’s school sporting calendar, and it underlines the importance of keeping young people active in a fun environment whilst giving students invaluable experience.

“We are proud to continue working with RGU and NESCol to deliver the games and the effort which the Active Schools team put in to help foster a culture of physical activity amongst young people in the city is admirable. Thanks to the continuing support of The Wood Foundation, the Aberdeen Youth Games will return next year and the partnership will now use this time to start planning on how 2021 can be the best yet.

“In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to keep an eye on the Sport Aberdeen website and social channels where you can find a multitude of free resources aimed at keeping young people healthy, active and motivated during this challenging time.”

Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of The Wood Foundation, said:

“The Aberdeen Youth Games ‘Festival of Sport’ is always a wonderful day and a great opportunity to see so many young people come together to enjoy sport.

“What’s more important is that healthy lifestyles and exercise are essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Schools have a vital role to play in this area and can be well supported in this through partnerships like this.

“Unfortunately, this event is yet another casualty of Covid-19 and it is sad we’re missing this year’s programme. However, we are pleased to be in a position to realign our funding to delivery in 2021 and will once again enjoy what is an outstanding day in our philanthropic calendar.”

Thomas Craig, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science RGU, said:

“Robert Gordon University has a long standing and valued relationship with Sport Aberdeen, NESCol and The Wood Foundation which culminates every year in the Aberdeen Youth Games. We are understandably disappointed that this year it was not possible to complete the Aberdeen Youth Games.

“We would again like to thank our partners for the experience they provided our students on the preparatory build up, which was once again exceptional.

“We look forward to next year where our students can reciprocate this through the placement opportunities that lead to a successful Aberdeen Youth Games, whilst creating a lasting positive impact on the children and young people of Aberdeen.”

Neil Tattersal, Curriculum Manager for Sport at North East Scotland College, said:

“The Aberdeen Youth Games have become a massive part of the community sporting calendar for the city and something all of our students look forward to supporting every year.

“More than 200 NESCol students from a range of sports courses normally attend this event and share their passion and enthusiasm for sport with the participants. Events like this illustrate the positive impact sport has on the local community. By working together with Active Schools and RGU to deliver the Youth Games we can encourage more children to get more active more often.”

Although the citywide event has been put on hold this year, registered charity Sport Aberdeen has been working hard to produce an online programme of free resources, aimed at encouraging children to remain active while schools and extracurricular activities remain on hold.

Get active @ Home Junior is an online hub of free resources, ideas and challenges specifically designed for children and families; helping to keep everyone active whilst schools and extracurricular activities are on hold due to the ongoing pandemic.

Registered charity Sport Aberdeen has donated items to north-east charity and social enterprise Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) in the hope of reaching those most in need in the area.

Sport Aberdeen has donated perishable food and drink items that were held within its citywide venues to CFINE and will continue to do so, ensuring that the goods reach those most in need during this challenging time.

The charity is also holding stock of sanitary items provided by CFINE, as part of a previous initiative in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government to tackle period poverty, which will be passed back to them to allow the social enterprise to distribute care packages of this nature.

David Selkirk, Sport Aberdeen Director of Community Leisure Operations, said:

“Sport Aberdeen is a community driven charity and now more than ever it is so important to pull together and offer assistance wherever possible, as we are all in this together. 

“We will continue to work closely with CFINE to help support anyone in need and are exploring other opportunities where we can offer our assistance where it is most needed.

“I would encourage anyone who is able to donate items to do so. During these difficult times Aberdeen’s local communities have shown incredible resilience and a true sense of coming together and this is something we can all be extremely proud of.”

Lisa Duthie, CFINE Chief Executive, said:

“CFINE is grateful for the generosity of Sport Aberdeen. The highly useful donations will be put to good use to help those self-isolated individuals and families who are food insecure.

“The continued support of our donors, funders, partners and volunteers enable us to remain true to our mission, tackling poverty, during these unusual times.

“We are experiencing a significant increase in the demand for CFINE’s support services. We are delivering 1,000 emergency food parcels weekly with the help of our partners; therefore, support of any kind is much appreciated.”

Sport Aberdeen has delivered over 2,000 kg worth of exercise equipment to local customers to help keep the community active during these challenging times.

The registered charity has loaned exercise equipment to as many customers as possible while its citywide venues are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 150 customers will have equipment delivered to them over the coming days, just one of the moves the charity is making to keep people active whilst remaining safe and at home.

Over 80 body pump kits, 100 steps, 700kg of dumbbells, kettlebells and slam balls are among the items being loaned out and delivered direct to customers doors, in line with social distancing guidelines.

Sport Aberdeen received huge interest in the equipment loan scheme and has allocated items to as many customers as possible on a first come first served basis. The charity is also posting at-home workouts through its social media channels with most classes requiring no equipment at all, ensuring that everyone can remain active at this challenging time.

David Selkirk, Sport Aberdeen Director of Community Leisure Operations commented:

“The interest we received in the loan scheme was incredible and we have allocated items to as many customers as we possibly could, but due to the sheer number of applications we simply couldn’t fulfil every request.  

“We are doing what we can at this difficult time to engage with the community and help keep our customers active and motivated with online workouts and we have seen a brilliant uptake in people joining the Sport Aberdeen virtual running club on Strava.

“Whilst the interest in the equipment loan scheme has been fantastic, the vast majority of our online workouts requires no equipment at all”

Natalie Newlands, a regular at Sport Aberdeen’s Get active @ Jesmond gym, said:

“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Sport Aberdeen for supporting the community and helping us all to stay active in this challenging time. I am so grateful for the loan of this equipment, this will make a huge difference to keeping me healthy and motivate me on my workouts every day! 

“All the staff and especially the Health and Wellness Coordinators have put in a lot of hard work and effort in organising and delivering the equipment. They are always making sure their members are happy and are an asset to Sport Aberdeen!”

A popular Granite City sporting festival for older adults, due to celebrate its 10th successful year, has announced it will be postponed to ensure the safety of participants, staff and volunteers.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Golden Games ambassadors and steering group members have taken the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 event, which was due to take place from 3 – 12 June. 

The free sporting festival, delivered by a range of citywide partners, takes pace each June across Aberdeen and offers older adults the chance to take part in a wide range of activities from sports, dance and exercise sessions to walking and aquatics activities.

On behalf of the Golden Games steering group, Sport Aberdeen Healthy Communities Manager Andrinne Craig said: 

“The wellbeing of participants, ambassadors, instructors, coaches and volunteers is paramount, and with so much uncertainty at this time, we felt it best to take this decision. 

“On behalf of everyone who works incredibly hard to bring this brilliant event to the city each year I would like to thank our participants and volunteers for the continued support, and we look forward to celebrating 10 years of the Golden Games in due course.

“Now more than ever before it is important to look after our physical and mental wellbeing and we would encourage all of our participants to remain active where possible. We are supporting our local community through online fitness routines and ongoing engagement through Spot Aberdeen’s Healthy Communities team.”

Please check the Sport Aberdeen website and Golden Games social media channels for information, updates and ways for you to remain active whilst staying safe at home.

Partners are hopeful that the event will be held later in the year and will release further details as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Update (21 May)

The First Minister has today confirmed that golf will be included in Phase One of the Scottish Government’s plan to ease current restrictions, and that implementing Phase One is expected to be possible from 28th May.  The move to Phase One has not yet taken place however and our golf courses remain closed at this time.

As soon as we can confirm our reopening, we will make the announcement here, and via emails to our members, including details for making bookings which will be via our online booking system only.

We can’t wait to welcome our golf members back to Golf Aberdeen!

In line with Government measures in response to COVID-19, all Sport Aberdeen venues are temporarily closed until further notice.  

All monthly memberships will be automatically frozen on a month by month basis until our venues re-open, with no Direct Debits collected from 1st April onwards. For further information please click here.

To allow our members to continue to keep active while our venues are closed, we have a range of exercise, health and wellbeing resources available on our Get active @ Home page. 

Like every business, we are concerned with our survival beyond this period.  Sport Aberdeen is a charity, and we re-invest every penny made back into the communities we serve, so we would ask anyone who can maintain their membership to please stick with us, to ensure the future of Sport Aberdeen beyond this difficult time. If you would like to continue your support of Sport Aberdeen, please click here to un-freeze your membership.

We would like to thank our valued members and customers for their unwavering support, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our venues in the future.

Where can I find more information?

For the latest information and advice on COVID-19 please visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

Thousands of school children from across Aberdeen will be given the opportunity to take part in physical activity as a popular sporting festival returns to the city.

The Aberdeen Youth Games is a citywide initiative developed in partnership with Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools team, Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the North East Scotland College (NESCol).

Over 100 student coaches will deliver activities in primary schools, culminating in the Festival of Health at the Aberdeen Sports Village on 22 May.

The 2020 primary programme officially kicked off at a launch event held at RGU yesterday (Thursday 12) after a last year saw record-breaking numbers of pupils take part.

Over 160 pupils from Kaimhill Primary School attended a morning of sports and activities, delivered by RGU’s BSc (Hons) Applied Sport and Exercise Science students who will be on placement with registered charity Sport Aberdeen.

This event follows on from a hugely successful secondary youth games programme that deployed RGU students into secondary schools and hosted a festival where over 400 pupils took part in five different sports this February. 

The aim is to establish an innovative, sustainable and integrated citywide sports programme which promotes and increases physical activity in young people with this year’s focus on increasing awareness around health and wellbeing as a whole.

Graeme Dale, Sport Aberdeen Head of Sport and Active Communities, said:

“The initiative has become a hugely anticipated and enjoyable event in Aberdeen’s sporting calendar, and it underlines the importance of keeping young people active in a fun environment whilst giving students invaluable experience.

“We are proud to continue working with RGU and NESCol to deliver the games and the effort which the Active Schools teams put in to help foster a culture of physical activity amongst young people in the city is admirable.

“Year on year we are encouraged by the continued growth of the games and we are confident that 2020 will carry on this trend.”

Thomas Craig, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science RGU, said:

“The Aberdeen Youth Games represents the culmination of months of hard work by our students and this event is their first opportunity to work in this real-life primary school environment with the pupils of Kaimhill. It is always pleasing to see their progression when we reach the 22nd May and we see real satisfaction on the students faces with this being the first opportunity for them to experience the positive impact their skills and experiences will have on the wider Aberdeen City Community.

“This unique partnership with Sport Aberdeen not only enhances the students employability options, but provides RGU the opportunity to give something back to our community that support us so well.  Sport Aberdeen is fully integrated throughout the placement and AYG process and it is a team effort, one that our students and the School of Health Science are proud to be a part of.”

Neil Tattersal, Curriculum Manager for Sport at North East Scotland College, said:

“The Aberdeen Youth Games have become a massive part of the community sporting calendar for the city and something all of our students look forward to supporting every year.

“More than 200 NESCol students from a range of sports courses will attend this year’s event and share their passion and enthusiasm for sport with the participants.

“Events like this illustrate the positive impact sport has on the local community. By working together with Active Schools and RGU to deliver the Youth Games we can encourage more children to get more active more often.”

Olympic gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE and Chairman of The Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood CBE, have been amongst the Aberdeen Youth Games ambassadors since its launch.

A 73-year-old Sport Aberdeen member has conquered a lifelong fear of the water and finished her final swimming assessment as part of a local adult swimming programme.

Jennifer Whittet recently completed the ‘Adult Improvers Learn to Swim’ programme at Bridge of Don Swimming Pool. The programme is delivered by Aquatics Aberdeen, part of award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen.

Jennifer recalls beginning her swimming journey whilst at primary school with the assistance of her father, but always struggled to find confidence in the water.

Now, many years on, after attending a Learn to Swim taster class as part of the city’s Golden Games in 2018, Jennifer was given a much-needed boost in confidence which sparked off a new desire to take to the water once again! She proceeded to enrol in the beginners’ class at Bridge of Don Swimming Pool where she has since gone from strength to strength.

Speaking about her time on the Sport Aberdeen Learn to Swim programme, Jennifer said:

“My favourite part of learning to swim with Sport Aberdeen was moving from the beginner to improver level. I have had great instructors who have helped me work on my strokes and helped me gain confidence in the deep end.

“My advice to anyone who feels they are too old to learn a new physical skill, be it swimming or otherwise is to give it a try. You are never too old to learn something new!

“My newfound confidence in the water means that I am no longer afraid to go swimming on my own and actually swam in the sea last time I was on holiday.” 

Dianne Breen, Sport Aberdeen Coached Programmes Manager said:

“The Learn to Swim programme’s main aim is to encourage and enable people of all ages and abilities to swim with confidence and take part in physical activity more often.  

“Stories such as Jennifer’s are a great reminder that the hard work of our instructors and the wider Aquatics Aberdeen team has a huge impact on a personal level, allowing people to learn new skills and in some cases move past barriers that have persisted for a long time, allowing our participants to really enjoy the sport.”

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