A new £28 million sporting facility unrivalled in the north-east will open its doors to the public on Saturday (August 22).
The Aberdeen Sports Village, a joint venture between Aberdeen City Council, the University of Aberdeen and sportscotland, will stage an Open Day from 11am to 4pm.
The complex, on the site of the former Chris Anderson Stadium, will raise the bar when it comes to sports provision in the north-east with a first-class standard of facilities – all housed under one roof.
The Aberdeen Sports Village boasts a full size indoor football pitch, indoor running straight with throwing and jumping areas, large sports hall, four squash courts, large fitness suite and performance gym, exercise studios, sports science facilities and dining and meeting areas.
The 3rd-generation, FIFA-approved pitch is one of the first of its kind in the UK and provides the perfect venue not only for football training but for all multi-sprint sports.
It is made, in part, from recycled car tyres and is surrounded by viewing portals, carefully arranged to reflect the formations of World Cup winning teams and their colours.
The large and airy Sports Hall is the size of nine badminton courts, with the highest quality sprung timber flooring, complete with floor markings for badminton, netball, basketball, volleyball and indoor hockey, while integral netting systems allow for multiple cricket and archery bays as well as seating for up to 350 spectators.
ASV will also add an extra dimension to athletics provision in the region – boasting the best indoor athletics facility in the North of Scotland. The area comprises a 135m six-lane running straight, with specific, fully-equipped areas for long and triple jump, high jump and pole vault. Throwing events are also catering for with a state-of-the-art indoor throws cage, providing training opportunities for hammer, discuss, shot putt and javelin.
Standards at the Sports Village put it in a prime position to accommodate elite athletes and it has already been selected as a training venue for the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London.
But it has been carefully designed for use by all, be it university students, community groups, or those with disabilities.
The building is fully accessible and the state-of the-art fitness suite includes equipment designed specifically to ensure that it is as easy as possible to use for physically or visually impaired customers.
Taking up much of the top floor of the Village, the Energy Zone is packed with top-class equipment including:
- 75 cardiovascular stations, including high performing treadmills, cross-trainers, cycle and arm ergometers, rowing machines and steppers, together with 30 resistance machines.
- FitLinxx – a sophisticated fitness management system, which is directly linked to the fitness equipment
- A dedicated free weights area, encompassing highly specialised lifting platforms perfect for high performance training
Busy parents can take advantage of the Leaping Leopard crèche while the Lane 9 café will serve up refreshments including fresh coffee and snacks.
Already the facilities have been put to good use – hosting a football coaching conference with sessions from both Scottish Football Association and Manchester United performance coaches.
On Saturday (August 22) two Kenyan athletes will reopen the running track in an attempt to run a mile in under four minutes. They are aiming to beat the current track record of 3min 58.5seconds, set nine years ago.
It will be among the highlights of the public Open Day, which will also feature a Regional Basketball Tournament, a display by Aberdeen FC Youth Development squad, a Squash Tournament, bouncy castle and bungee run, and taster classes.
There will also be an exhibition of work by Steven McIver, who has travelled the world along latitude 41ºN, exploring the notion of the ‘home ground’ and its relationship with the community.
The University of Aberdeen’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Duncan Rice, said:
“The international standard of facilities housed within the Aberdeen Sports Village reflects the University of Aberdeen’s ambition to become an institution which can compete with the best universities in the world.
“The facilities will be of great benefit to all students with an interest in sport and health and will help to promote the development of elite athletes, whom we will now be able to attract from all over the world.”
George Yule, Chairman of Aberdeen Sports Village, said: “The Aberdeen Sports Village is a fantastic facility which will benefit the community at large. It really is for use by everyone and will be an asset not only to the people of Aberdeen city and shire but to the north-east as a whole.
“This local sports facility has been designed to international standards, with the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in mind.”
Aberdeen City Council Leader John Stewart said: "By working in partnership, Aberdeen City Council, University of Aberdeen and sportscotland have created more than just another leisure facility.
“Aberdeen Sports Village will be a hub of activity - providing sport activities for local residents, visitors to the city and training facilities for elite athletes. These facilities are fantastic."
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: "The opening of the Aberdeen Sports Village marks another important milestone in improving sports provision in Scotland as part of the Scottish Government's National and Regional Sports Facilities Strategy.
"sportscotland worked closely with the other funding partners throughout the project to create a facility that would meet the diverse needs of the people of Aberdeen and the wider community; the Sports Village has certainly delivered on that promise.
“The north-east now has a fantastic training and competition venue which I hope will inspire many more people to get active and provide the region's talented athletes with the standard of facilities they need to develop to their full potential."