Scotland’s first ever Cruyff Court built with another on the way
Scotland’s first ever Cruyff Court – a renowned multi-use community facility – reached completion in February 2017 having being handed over by Hunter Construction.
The Catherine Street Court, previously a run-down and under-used urban space within the city centre, has 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 facility will provide a modern interpretation of the good old community football pitch – a safe place that encourages young people to enjoy sport.
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.
Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with the Denis Law Legacy Trust and the Johan Cruyff Foundation, came together to bring the initiative to the Granite City with a commitment of £200,000 between all three organizations.
Less than two years on, plans for the city’s second Cruyff Court has moved forward with a site selected and funds pledged. It was announced in November 2018 that the area of Tullos will be the beneficiaries this time round.
Denis Law, back in his home city at the Denis Law Legacy Trust’s annual fundraising dinner, said: “I am extremely proud to be associated with the work done by the Denis Law Legacy Trust and Streetsport in areas of Aberdeen where young people need to be encouraged to be the best they can.”
Councillor Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “We were incredibly proud to open Scotland’s first Cruyff Court and to honour two legends of world football in the process. Denis is Aberdeen’s most famous sporting son and, as we saw when he was awarded the freedom of the city last year and thousands lined the streets, his impact spans the generations.
“It is exciting to be in a position to push forward with the plans for a second Cruyff Court, particularly given the impact the first has had since its launch. Aberdeen City Council is pleased to be investing in the second facility and we welcome the Foundation’s funding support.
Graham Thom, chairman of the Denis Law Legacy trust said: "This is another significant step for the Denis Law legacy trust-back Streetsport initiative and we continue our efforts to take sport into the heart of communities and engage with young people in a way that will help them on a number of fronts. The new facility in Tullos will, we believe, prove meaningful for that part of Aberdeen and we hope the people there will recognise its importance for the wellbeing of a wide range of residents.”
Pride of Sport Winner
The Denis Law Legacy Trust and Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Streetsport initiative were proud recipitents of a prestigious accolade at the National Pride of Sport Awards held in London.
Streetsport came out as the winner of the TSB Community Partner Award, which recognises a group of people who have worked together in partnership as a force for good in their local community, to improve the lives of people around them through sport, supporting young people to thrive and to bring communities together to make a difference.
The Streetsport programme, run by the Denis Law Legacy Trust and RGU in partnership with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, is a non-profit initiative which aims to reduce instances of youth crime and anti-social behaviour while helping develop the employability and aspirations of young people in Aberdeen.
Streetsport volunteers have helped provide free of charge sport and creative activity sessions for young people throughout Aberdeen City by deploying mobile activity arenas directly into local communities and operating during peak times of anti-social behaviour. In 2016 there were over 12,500 participations from young people throughout Aberdeen. In 2018 this number has grown to over 16,000.
Streetsport Chief Operating Officer, Mark Williams, commented: “
“Our various programmes are a success only due to the commitment and effort our volunteers put in and we are all very proud and thankful for their contributions.
“Our main aim is to support and empower young people to be confident, capable, independent and responsible citizens within their own communities and to be given this award shows we have made tremendous headway.”
The Streetsport team was recognised earlier in the year when they picked up a The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups and the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.
The Pride of Sport awards are all about ‘celebrating and recognising the unsung heroes of grassroots sport’. The national awards highlight people who have contributed to sport at a local or national level, across all walks of life.
“This latest accolade, and to be recognised at a national level, is a massive tribute to all the work our volunteers do every day across Aberdeen.”
- Mark Williams, Denis Law Legacy Trust Chief Operating Officer.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
In June 2017, Streetsport was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The award is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups, and is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.
The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Streetsport Chief Operating Officer, Mark Williams, commented:
“The Queen’s award is a fantastic tribute to all the work our volunteers do every day across Aberdeen.
"Our various programmes are a success only due to the commitment and effort our volunteers put in and we are all very proud and thankful for their contributions."
Streetsport volunteers have helped provide free of charge sport and creative activity sessions for young people throughout Aberdeen City by deploying mobile activity arenas directly into local communities and operating during peak times of anti-social behaviour.
In 2016 there were over 12,500 participations from young people throughout Aberdeen.
Sir Martyn Lewis, the Queen’s Award Committee Chair, said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
“The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”
Read the full press release here
Prince Harry visits Denis Law's Streetsport
Prince Harry paid a visit to Robert Gordon University (RGU) as part of his first official visit to Aberdeen to learn about some of the vital work being done by a number of the city’s leading youth development projects.
His Royal Highness was in the north-east as part of a tour of community sport groups organised by the UK’s leading Sport for Social Change charity, Sported, as part of their support for the Prince’s work to further his understanding of how sport can be used as a platform for education, training, employment and personal development.
Campbell Roy, Scotland Manager for Sported, said: “Prince Harry is a passionate advocate of the power of sport to transform young lives. His latest visits will help shine a spotlight on the brilliant - and life changing - work of Sport for Social Change organisations such as Streetsport and Transition Extreme, and underline their importance in breaking down barriers, tacking inequalities and improving the well-being of our nation.”
During his time with the award winning Streetsport initiative, Prince Harry received a briefing on the programme of weekly sports and creative activity sessions and how it helps to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across Aberdeen.
He then met Streetsport coaches and volunteers, and was greeted by more than 100 pupils from Kaimhill Primary School who were taking part in a range of sporting activities that the project offers.
Cameron Craddock, Co-founder of Streetsport and Senior Lecturer at RGU’s Gray’s School of Art, said: “Streetsport was initiated by Police Scotland and Robert Gordon University ten years ago as part of a joint community engagement project and we are delighted to highlight our work to Prince Harry on this first official visit to Aberdeen.
"His Royal Highness’ support is an invaluable vote of confidence as we seek to secure the long term future of Streetsport.
“We’d like to recognise the valuable support, insight and contribution made by students, the wider RGU community, the Denis Law Legacy Trust and Sported throughout our 10 years of operation.
"We look forward to continuing our work with Sported on ‘Sport for Change’, which aims to achieve inclusion and participation in sport and other creative activities for hard to reach young people.”
The afternoon saw the Prince take to the skate park at the city’s world-class extreme sports facility and youth charity, Transition Extreme.
Read the full press release here