The Rotary Club of Ellon experienced a recent burst of activity when Active Aberdeenshire’s co-ordinator, Andy Watson, gave a talk.
A sports hub officer with Sport Scotland, Andy’s remit is to help communities like Ellon bring its sports clubs and activity groups together.
The aim is growth in participation, engagement with the community, promotion of community leadership, provision of a wide range of sporting/activity opportunities and bringing the key people together to achieve these goals.
There are many benefits in bringing groups together. Not only does the networking allow ideas and common interests to be cross fertilised, but costs can be saved – for instance, in providing first aid courses or child protection accreditation for a number of organisations at one time.
Many communities have seen the advantages of sports hubs – of which there are now eight in Aberdeenshire. Andy quoted the provision of a running track in Fraserburgh and noted the close association between the Stonehaven hub and local schools.
The Ellon hub is up and running after local consultation. Representatives from most of the local sports clubs have attended initial meetings, a working group has now been formed and logo and website are now being planned.
“Health and wellbeing for all” is the tag line and it is hoped that the hub will develop to ensure that playing sport or joining an activity group becomes easier for everybody.
As Andy said: “If you’re new in Ellon, you shouldn’t need to find sport, sport should find you!” Rotarian Hilary Gordon proposed a deserved vote of thanks.