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streetfootball project
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streetfootball project

26 October 2005 12:29

Grampian Police have launched the next big thing in sport for young people.

The innovative Streetfootball project, which has been hugely successful in Columbia where it was developed, aims to engage young people and encourage socially acceptable behaviour. The game, which is played using a portable sports pitch and can be erected on any surface, was known in South America as "Football for Peace" and in Germany over the last three years as "Street Football for Tolerance".

The Streetfootball project will provide an alternative for youths, during the evenings, when other facilities are not available. It takes sport to young people, within their own communities, promoting healthier lifestyles and alternatives to alcohol, drugs and antisocial behaviour. Youths will be able to channel their energies into the game in a structured and safe manner.

Grampian Police has funded the pitch and the Robert Gordon University will manage a full-time development officer, who will be based within the new RGU Sport complex. A team of volunteers will also be managed by the staff at the University. Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd has sponsored the project with a contribution of 15,000 per year for three years and Communities Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund, funded through the Aberdeen City Council's Sport's Development Office, have each donated 15,000 over two years. ADT Fire and Security have provided the Streetfootball development Officer with a vehicle to tow the pitch and trailer whilst Aberdeen Safer Community Trust will host the project and will, in kind, maintain and administer all finances generated.

Aberdeen Football Club have also supported the development of this project and will continue with this support over the next three years. First are meantime storing the pitch and trailer and have also continually supported the development of this project.

The UK's first Street Football Project was launched in Arbroath in 2003 and instantly proved a hit with young people. Now the game will be available to community groups throughout Aberdeen City.

Kellie McDonald, Youth Liaison Co-ordinator at Grampian Police, who has been instrumental in campaigning for the Streetfootball project to be introduced to Aberdeen, said: "Ultimately the project takes sport to young people within their own communities, provides an alternative to drugs and alcohol and aims to divert youths away from antisocial behaviour.

The portable pitch can be used for a range of sports including basketball and volleyball and set up in a few minutes in any space including car-parks, schools and shopping centres across the city."

"The pitch in Arbroath has been extremely successful in reducing youth annoyance across Angus and there is a real need to provide such a facility in Grampian. We are delighted to be launching this project in Aberdeen and are grateful to all the sponsors that have supported its development."

"I will be working closely with the Streetfootball development officer in order to ensure that the pitch is utilised in areas identified as having a high rate of youth annoyance.

Digital Media students from RGU's Gray's School of Art have also designed a website on behalf of Grampian Police to help raise awareness for the Street Football project. For more information go to www.streetfootball.net

For further information on the project contact Kellie McDonald on 01224 306865 or Kellie.McDonald@grampian.pnn.police.uk