Aberdeen Sports Village report impresses City Council

Aberdeen City Council’s Strategic Commissioning Committee has commended the outstanding work of Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) which was highlighted in its financial review.

The report provided the committee members with an overview of service delivery by ASV from 01 August 2019 to 31 July 2020, reflecting the complex’s alignment to the academic year for financial reporting.

The review provided a qualitative summary of outcomes, outputs and activities undertaken by ASV and how these align against the priorities of the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) and progress made to-date. The report is available to view here.

Despite ASV being closed to the public for five months in 2020 due to the pandemic, the achievements of ASV staff and volunteers in 2019/20 impressed the committee unanimously.

The committee noted the success of the ASV Breakfast Club and ASV Aquatics Academy and the alignment of those successes with the LOIP.

ASV created the ASV Breakfast Club in order to increase identified physical activity opportunities for local school children by removing barriers such as cost and access and providing sports and fun games in collaboration with already established school-based free breakfast clubs.

The project’s outcomes included improving the time management of children recognised as being as being frequently late for school; reducing the stigma associated with free school meals; supporting readiness to learn and helping to bridge the attainment gap within local areas of regeneration. The project was successful in securing funding from the Community Sports Grants.

Through participation in sport and the provision of healthy breakfasts before the start of the school day, the project aimed to develop children’s personal and social skills, including new sports skills, while increase their productivity at school.

In 2018 the ASV Aquatics Academy secured funding of £14,000 to deliver a project providing senior school pupils and young people not in education, with free accredited training in pool lifeguarding, life saving and the teaching of swimming. In return, the volunteers delivered swimming and life-saving lessons to P6 and P7 children who had not had the opportunity to learn to swim.

The committee noted ASV’s close engagement with Sportscotland, UK Active and other national governing bodies that allowed ASV to offer early access to training for athletes training for the Olympic and Paralympics. It also noted that ASV Aquatics Centre was one of only three venues in Scotland to be identified as a designated performance training facility for indoor aquatic sports.

The committee congratulated ASV and its staff and volunteers on their award-winning activities with children, young people and adults across Aberdeen and especially in SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) areas.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing, convener of Strategic Commissioning Committee said: “I must congratulate Aberdeen Sports Village’s staff and volunteers on the great work they have done with our children, young people and adults, particularly those from our regeneration areas.

“The report demonstrates how our world class multi-sports facility provides a huge range of opportunities for all age groups and highlights how it is helping us to deliver key objectives within our Local Outcome Improvement Plan.

“It continues to be a challenging time for us all but the commitment and dedication of ASV staff and volunteers has been crucial to the city’s covid-19 response and I am sure they will continue to play an important role in the city’s recovery as we move forward.”

Aberdeen Sports Village Chief Executive Duncan Sinclair said “Our reporting year 2019/2020 turned out to be extraordinary. The fight against the pandemic and the national lockdown meant that we would be closed for 4 months of this year, reducing our ability to deliver valued and important public services. That said, there is still lots to acknowledge and celebrate and I am incredibly proud of “Team ASV” for the inspirational opportunities provided to our customers. None of this would have been possible without the staff, our fantastic and loyal customers and our strategic partners Aberdeen City Council and the University of Aberdeen. I will take this opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude for their amazing support.”

Debbie Dyker, Director of People at the University of Aberdeen said: “Congratulations to Aberdeen Sports Village on the well-deserved recognition of the hard work they have put in to support the local community with their Breakfast Club and Lifeguarding initiatives.

“At the University we are committed to promoting Health and Wellbeing for the whole community and we are extremely privileged to enjoy a partnership with ASV.”

Aberdeen Sports Village Limited, established in 2009, is a joint venture with Aberdeen City Council and the University of Aberdeen although ASV is an Arm’s Length External Organisation (ALEO) of the City Council. It was the first joint venture of its kind in the United Kingdom and remains an example of best practice in the Sport and Physical Activity sector.

ASV is Scotland’s premier sports, fitness and lifestyle venue. It hosts international sports event and offers multiple sports facilities, including an IAAF accredited 400m athletics track and UKA indoor athletics facility, an Olympic standard aquatics centre, a state-of-the-art gym, exercise and lifestyle classes.