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GoFitba continues the journey in Inverurie

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GoFitba continued its journey in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire with another fun packed day for the kids at Kellands Primary School, which is based in the Aberdeenshire town on the 2nd May, in what was a warm day for all the kids on a sun kissed Garioch Sports Centre surface.

The initiative GoFitba is an exciting football, classroom and nutrition based health and wellbeing project for primary school kids delivered by the Scottish Football Partnership Trust in association with community football clubs. The 12 week project offers these children a platform for fun, physical activity and takes them on a weekly interactive educational journey to discover how they can stay active and lead a healthier lifestyle through diet and nutrition.

The project, which is being delivered by the Scottish Football Partnership Trust in association with community football clubs across the nation, was in its third week and the project has went down a success with the players and coaches involved so far.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust were the hosts, with coaches Graeme Cochrane and Paul Davidson alongside community coach Stephen Boddie delivering a training session to the Kellands Primary School kids with the focus being on dribbling, followed by a range of small sided games. Training lasted for an hour on the outdoor 3G synthetic pitch at Garioch Sports Centre.

As well as the football, GoFitba puts a high emphasis on nutritional values and educating the children about the positives of a healthy, balanced diet. The kids got a group photo alongside the Aberdeen FC Community Trust coaches on the pitch before going inside into the Creche room.

Once training was completed, the kids were back to the classroom where they worked on their handbooks given to them and they also did a quiz which focused on the benefits on water and the importance on drinking water on a regular basis, the week was called - "Water and hydration - drink up!

To finish off the afternoon for the kids, they were treated to a dish of pasta with a slice of bread and a bit of fruit and, most importantly, some water to wash down a healthy meal with before getting picked up by their parents to go home for the day. The kids were very enthusiastic and there was an image there that everyone was enjoying themself and, most importantly, having fun and being active and healthy at the same time.

There were a range of backgrounds in attendance during the afternoon with boys and girls all from different diversities, there was kids who have been refugees and have just moved into the area and settled in very well, as well as people of all footballing abilities, some of whom haven’t played the game for a football team before.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust do a great job working on a range of projects in Aberdeenshire and this is another successful project for all involved. The players involved in the project have learned a lot already with regards to the football, classroom and nutritional aspects in life and will continue to progress and learn as the weeks continue.

Stephen Boddie, a community coach at Aberdeen FC Community Trust said: “The kids are getting fit and active and also healthy and there is also the social side to it all as well as they are speaking more to their friends and engaging more with their friends as well, they can sit down and have a meal where they can actually talk to their friends.

“The friendship side of things is the big thing however the kids can hopefully learn a little bit more about football as well and work on dribbling, passing, shooting and hopefully replicate some of their heroes from generations gone by.

“There is a lot of players involved in the GoFitba project that don’t play the game with a club at the moment although we do have links with local grassroots clubs such as Colony Park here in Inverurie and hopefully this project allows the young players to enjoy the football sessions on offer to them.

“There is a lot of positive work taking place not just in Inverurie however across Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, we do a lot of work with people in care homes and also schools, I am hoping to use GoFitba as a model which we can use not just in Aberdeenshire but also in Aberdeen City as well, I am hoping some schools will be able to take this on further as it is a top model that other sports can even get into.

"We have a variety of participants, we have Syrians in the sessions who have just moved into the area from Syria and also a mixture of boys and girls as well, we are trying to build the girls pathway especially.

“It means a lot for Aberdeen FC Community Trust to be involved in the project, we are not just going to teach the kids football skills however also we are hopefully going to change some of these kids lives and their lifestyles heading into adulthood and here’s hoping we can leave a lasting impact.”

Players Archie and Ross have been a part of the project, Archie spoke about how positive the project has been from his perspective and what they learned from the class when he said, “I have been enjoying the project so far as the coaches have teached us to do some skills like being Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo,

"We learned that water is good for you skin and also good for your brain and helps you sleep, my favourite part of the meal was pasta with the cheese on top. From GoFitba you can learn how to pass and dribble, I have learned to stay active because it’s important that you don’t stay on the sofa all the time."

Ross said: “The project for myself has been good and fun because we have been playing matches and also learning new stuff, I have learned about water and how it helps us in our daily lives and how carrots help us as well as blueberries which help your brain develop.”

David Reid | YFS North Region Journalist
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