Scotland’s first Cruyff Court officially opened by Denis Law

Footballing legend Denis Law today kicked off community celebrations at Scotland’s first Cruyff Court in Aberdeen city centre.

Local children were joined by Rotary clubs taking part in walking football and a piper for the event held in Aberdeen to mark the free-to-access multi-purpose sports and recreation facility having been officially opened.

The previously run-down and under-used urban space at Catherine Street Court has now been transformed into a hi-tech, all-weather play and activity area for families in the surrounding community and the wider Aberdeen area.Named ‘Cruyff Court Denis Law’; in honour of Aberdeen’s very own Ballon d’Or winner Denis Law and Dutch footballing legend Johan Cruyff, the new facility will provide a modern safe play area that encourages young people to get outdoors and enjoy a variety of sports and other creative activities.

To date, there are more than 230 Cruyff Courts in more than 20 countries around the world, which support thousands of young people to be active every week.

The Denis Law Legacy Trust has worked in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, the Cruyff Foundation, the People’s Postcode Lottery, Tiger Turf and Hunter Construction Ltd to bring the initiative to the Granite City.

Various activities will be hosted by Denis Law’s Streetsport initiative and the Cruyff Foundation including the ‘Heroes of the Cruyff Courts’ programme which encourages young people to organise events within their own communities.

Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “This new Cruyff Court has been completed to a very high standard and it highlights how investing in neighbourhood facilities can transform our communities for the better.”

Niels Meijer, Director of the Cruyff Foundation, said: “We are supported by players of the People's Postcode Lottery in the UK and our aim is to get more youths active through our Cruyff Courts, Special Cruyff Courts and Schoolyard14 initiatives. We are very proud to introduce Scotland’s first Cruyff Court Denis Law situated at Catherine Street in Aberdeen, in a neighbourhood where a new play area is more than welcome. And for us, it's also an honour to realize this Cruyff Court together with the Denis Law Legacy Trust and Aberdeen City Council."

Mark Williams, Streetsport Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to see the completion of the Cruyff Court Denis Law and we look forward to delivering a range of free activities alongside our other delivery partners from across the city.”

Graham Thom, Chairman of the Denis Law Legacy Trust: “We are delighted to see the Cruyff Court Denis Law come to fruition and are particularly thrilled to have Denis present with us today to formally open the court.

“The new Cruyff Court represents a major step forward for the Denis Law Legacy Trust. With the support of our partners we are now able to provide even more free activities for many young people across the city of Aberdeen.

“Denis grew up near by and achieved many great accolades as a player winning Scotland’s only FIFA Ballon d’Or. He is role model for many people and he is delighted that the court has been named in his honour.

"At most, it's a couple of bus journeys away from anyone in Aberdeen which means that youngsters eager to use the court and be part of something meaningful, can access it easily. We are encouraging everyone to keep fit and healthy and to join in with something that will improve their lives in various ways.

"Aberdeen ought to be very proud of establishing Scotland’s first Cruyff Court which will form part of a lasting legacy for Denis who has been a fantastic ambassador for the city over the years.”

The first Aberdeen court has been designed with input from staff and students at Gray’s School of Art and the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture at the Robert Gordon University and numerous sports stars and athletes have credited their success with having access to Cruyff Foundation facilities whilst growing up.