Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Streetsport initiative, which delivers free doorstep activities and programmes across Aberdeen, has won the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) North region’s ‘Best Community for All’ award.
The Streetsport programme picked up the prize at the SFA’s Grassroots Awards, which recognises people and groups who make a difference to grassroots football in their local communities.
It comes just weeks after the Denis Law Legacy Trust and the Robert Gordon University, which both support the initiative, were given the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and follows the recent opening of Scotland’s first Cruyff Court in the Granite City by footballing legend, Denis Law.
Graham Thom, chairman of the Denis Law Legacy Trust, said that thanks to its growing band of volunteers, the organisation – designed to encourage young people into an active life and help cut anti-social behaviour in a range of Aberdeen communities – was going from strength to strength.
“We appreciate the recognition from the SFA with this award which emphasises that we must be ticking the right boxes. By creating positive opportunities for everyone within our society, we are reflecting the grass root strengths of the game we all love.”
The man behind the project, Mark Williams, Streetsport’s Chief Operating Officer, underlined the work by volunteers who work every night of the week to provide sports opportunities for those who need and want them.
“They are the backbone of Streetsport,” he said.
“This and all the other awards we’ve won simply highlights their efforts and expertise. RGU has helped support the Trust and Streetsport to get where it is today and the support from the numerous departments across RGU is a shining example of what this university can achieve when working as one.
“Our main aim is to support and empower young people to be confident, capable, independent and responsible citizens within their own communities and over the last few years we have made tremendous headway.”
“The Streetsport programme is excelling just now and is leading the way in innovative community engagement. Contributions from RGU staff all across the university such as Human Resource, Finance and many others are playing their part to help make positive differences in young people’s lives.”
Denis Law, the former Manchester United and Scotland striker and the first Scottish player to win the Ballon d’Or European Footballer of the Year award in 1964, endorses and supports the Streetsport programme which will now go forward to the SFA’s national awards next month.
The programme’s award win also merited a recent motion in the Scottish Parliament.