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Aberdeen launches balls appeal as signs face the axe

Aberdeen launches balls appeal as signs face the axe

Hundreds of 'No Ball Games' signs will be removed in Aberdeen during the next year.

And, in an attempt to encourage young people to enjoy playing sport in parks and other green spaces, three city organisations have created a new initiative.

Aberdeen Greenspace, which led the campaign for the signs to be removed, has launched a ball appeal in conjunction with third-sector partners Cash for Kids and Denis Law Legacy Trust Streetsport.

The groups are calling on north-east businesses and residents to donate balls which will then be given to underprivileged children in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen Council becomes first to remove 'No Ball Games' signs

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The city is on course to become the first city in Scotland to have no signs in its parks and community spaces forbidding the playing of ball games.

STV has learned that the first of around 1500 signs will be taken down in November, with the process due for completion by August 2016.

Aberdeen Greenspace worked closely with Aberdeen City Council on the motion and will continue to assist the local authority as the signs are removed.

The charity will provide £10,000 of funding to support the project and any subsequent planting that may be required.

  (Aberdeen City Council)
via STV via STV

Balls of all shapes and sizes are being sought, from tennis balls and bouncing balls to footballs, rugby balls and even beach balls.

All of them will be gratefully accepted by those running the appeal, because it is hoped they will inspire children to switch off their smartphones and head outdoors.

Aberdeen Greenspace chief executive, Michelle Herd, said: “Pulling down these signs is a landmark decision by Aberdeen City Council and one which Aberdeen Greenspace has led.

"It will mean that the city leads the way in Scotland in opening up its public green spaces, removing the restrictions that have been placed on them for decades by the ‘No Ball Games’ signs.

“The appeal will help by providing children and their families with balls with which they can then go out and play."

Streetsport initiative is helping north-east kids keep the law

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Michelle added: “We are looking for all types of sports balls for the appeal except – for safety reasons – golf balls.

"By donating a ball to the appeal, people will help encourage youngsters to get some fresh air and exercise, and ultimately improve their health, fitness and well-being.”

Balls can be donated to the Aberdeen Ball Appeal at Cash for Kids’ offices at Northsound Radio in West Tullos between 9:30am and 5:30pm from Monday to Friday.

The last date for donating balls is Friday, November 6.

Further information is available here.

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