Aberdeen Sports Village opened its doors to great acclaim on August 24 last year and is now preparing to welcome its 500,000th visitor.
The state-of-the-art facility, a joint project between the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland, will present a prize to the person who brings its visitor total to half a million – a figure it is anticipated will be reached this morning (Monday August 23).
The lucky visitor will receive an ASV hamper full of champagne, chocolates and various vouchers and a free three-month membership.
ASV offers some of the best sporting facilities in Scotland and has proved a hit with users from across the north-east. It boasts a full-size FIFA-approved pitch - one of the first of its kind in the UK, the best athletics facilities in the north of Scotland, a large sports hall, four squash courts, fitness suite and performance gym, exercise studios, a crèche and café.
It caters for elite athletes and community groups alike and came to the fore during the winter freeze when football clubs - including Aberdeen and Peterhead - and rugby clubs, like Aberdeen Grammar and Ellon, flocked to make use of the superb indoor facilities when the weather put paid to outdoor training.
ASV has also played host to Aberdeen boxer Lee McAllister, the Glasgow Rocks basketball team and the acrobatic group Spelbound, winners of Britain’s Got Talent 2010.
David Beattie, manager of Aberdeen Sports Village, said: “The superb facilities of the Aberdeen Sports Village have proved extremely popular with the local community and there has been an excellent uptake of membership.
“All aspects of the facility are well used and we are delighted by the great feedback we have had from users.
“Total memberships peaked at over 5500, which includes on-peak and off-peak membership of the Health and Fitness suite, squash, indoor and outdoor athletics facilities, exercise classes and the University’s existing pool at King’s Pavilion.
“This is an indication of the level of demand there was in the area for a sporting facility of this kind, which can cater for everyone from the elite performance athletes through to those simply wanting to reach or maintain a reasonable level of fitness.
“Having facilities of this kind in Aberdeen has enabled us to host events and activities which could not have taken place in the city previously, such as the International Students Badminton Competition, Scottish Athletics Men’s League event, SFA in service days and Scottish Netball Cup Finals.
“We are delighted with the progress made in the first year and will continue to develop our community programmes, having run a successful pilot project of taster sessions with disability groups as well as classes for local schools.”
The Sports Village is also involved with the NHS Keep Well Programme, offering health checks to 45-64-year-olds and runs the successful Evergreens club for the over 60s, which now has more than 100 members.