Lord Provost hails Summer of Play as youngsters have a ball

Aberdeen’s first citizen, Lord Provost Barney Crockett, today (Thursday 8 July) hailed the positive impact of the city’s unprecedented Summer of Play as children and young people flock to sign up and take part in a huge range of free post-lockdown events, provided by Aberdeen City Council, to reconnect them with friends, family and the outdoors.

The Lord Provost was taking part in one of the most popular events in the £418,000 programme; a football coaching session at Northfield Academy delivered in partnership with Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust.

The Lord Provost 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.

“I must pay tribute to partner organisations such as Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust, Sport Aberdeen, Aberdeen Science Centre and many more in helping us deliver a summer of activities that our children and young people won’t forget.”

Liz Bowie, chief executive of AFCCT, said: “As part of the Summer of Play we are delighted to be delivering Football Festivals and Street Play throughout the school holidays within the Northfield, St Machar and Lochside associated school group areas.

“We wanted to give children across Aberdeen City an opportunity to take part in a fun, engaging and relaxed environment, participating in football and multisports 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.

The activities are based on a consultation undertaken by the Council with children, young people being directly involved in shaping the fun activities they most missed during lockdown and the fun activities they most wanted to get back to when restrictions eased.

The involvement of children and young people is a key element of Aberdeen’s ongoing work towards becoming a Unicef-recognised Child Friendly City.

The priorities for access to the programme are those, including 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.

Places are being taken up fast with some sessions already fully booked but places can still be booked for fantastic free activities including football sessions and City Moves dance clases by visiting the dedicated webpage giving full details of the programme and how to register for activities: