Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Streetsport initiative has scooped another prestigious prize at the recent Elevator Awards.
The initiative which operates under the auspices of the Denis Law Legacy Trust won the Alick Buchanan-Smith Enterprising Communities Award for its innovative delivery of free sports and creative activities for young people in disadvantaged communities within Aberdeen.
Elevator provides expert business advice, quality flexible office space, and support for entrepreneurship, employability and enterprising behaviour through a range of projects and events across Scotland.
They celebrate the achievements of business people making a difference both locally and nationally through their annual Elevator Awards (previously the Grampian Awards for Business Excellence).
The Elevator Awards seek to encourage entrepreneurship and business excellence by selecting and rewarding entrepreneurial companies and individuals that are capable of leading the future prosperity of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.
At their headquarters in Bridge of Don Aberdeen, Elevator has created the UK’s first Centre for Entrepreneurship, combining the delivery of Business Gateway with an open access public facility, digital demonstration centre and business accelerator programme.
Elevator assists more than 3,000 businesses each year across Grampian and Tayside to start and grow through advisory support, workshops, seminars and bespoke events.
The Alick Buchanan-Smith Enterprising Communities Award celebrates outstanding community contributions made by creative and innovative organisations.
Streetsport deploys mobile activity arenas, offering free doorstep sports and other events directly to young people within their own communities, including seven local priority neighbourhoods highlighted by the Scottish Government as being in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland.
Gary McEwan, CEO of Elevator said: “The Denis Law Legacy Trust and Streetsport demonstrated pioneering positive community impact.
“What particularly impressed the judges was the project’s success in crime rate reduction within the areas they hosted pop-up activities, with the targeted approach of police ‘hot spots’.
“Their presentations with props were both professional and theatrical showcasing their passion, their variety of activities and their wealth of volunteers. All of which were infectious.
“We believe that anything that keeps young people busy and active has a positive impact on the individuals themselves, their future progression and their surrounding communities. We are proud to call them a winner of the Elevator Awards 2016.”
Cameron Craddock, Co-founder of Streetsport and Communication Design Course Director at Gray’s School of Art, said: “Creativity and innovation have always been integral to the delivery of Streetsport which was initiated in 2006 by Gray’s School of Art and Police Scotland as a design-led initiative based around community engagement.
“Our teaching methods have combined learning and collaborative activities which have enabled successive students to develop enhanced graduate attributes through the application of their skills and knowledge within the context of this city wide initiative. We are delighted to see their efforts being recognised by this award.”
Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Robert Gordon University, added: “Streetsport is a great project which demonstrates the university’s commitment to make a positive impact in communities across Aberdeen.
“Recognition with an Elevator award is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved and I know the team are determined to ensure this initiative remains a success in the years to come as it goes from strength to strength.”
Picture by Michal Wachucik / Abermedia
Graham Thom, Chairman of the Denis Law Legacy Trust, said: “We are thrilled to win this award which recognises the contribution made by RGU and our team of volunteers across the city.”
Established in 2006, the award winning Streetsport team are out and about in all weathers five nights a week, 50 weeks of the year.
They are on currently on target to achieve more than 12,000 active participations in 2016 and will soon launch Scotland’s first Cruyff Court in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and other stakeholders which will enable the project to expand its range of positive destination and other creative activities.
The Streetsport partnership network involves a number of other local agencies in its annual calendar of activities across the north-east and regularly collaborates with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership and Police Scotland amongst others.