KEITHHALL Primary School and the surrounding community are the proud owners of a new “High Level Fitness Trail” thanks to the efforts of their Parent Council, pupils and staff and funding from “Awards for All”.
The project began after a need for play facilities within the local community was identified by the Parent Council.
As the school is situated two miles from Inverurie and most of the children live in countryside surrounding Kinmuck, the access to activity opportunities was limited.
It was decided that the Adventure Trail would be the solution and situating it in school grounds would mean easy access for primary aged children during the day without the need for transport, pre-school children when older brothers or sisters were dropped-off or picked-up from school, and academy aged children in the evenings and at weekends.
The school’s own Health Group conducted a survey of the children in the local community to find out how they thought they could lead a healthier lifestyle and how the local playing field could be better used. The survey revealed that a concern was the lack of play equipment and the children suggested an Adventure Trail would be an ideal solution.
In applying for the grant the the aims of the project were to increase the the number of children and young people in the community taking part in physical activity; to provide a safe, outdoor place to play; to allow children to develop social skills and develop better coordination, strength, stamina and agility.
The school’s Pupil Council formed part of the “Design Team” and helped to design and cost various trails and equipment. The Eco Group also got involved and recommended that the trail be constructed of wood to fit in with the rural environment.
The Parent Council applied for a grant from “Awards for All” in December last year for £6,000 to build the trail, and on January 24 this year Christiana Reid, Chair of the Parent Council, received a letter offering a conditional grant of £6,000 from “Awards for All”.
Keithhall headteacher Kate Lamb told the Herald: “We are delighted to receive this funding from ‘Awards for All’. This goes a long way to covering the costs of our ‘Keithhall Kids Get Active’ project.
“The ‘High Level Fitness Adventure Trail’ will increase the number of children and young people in our community engaging in physical activity by providing them with exciting and challenging play equipment.
“I would like to thank the Parent Council for their contribution to the project and I would also like to thank the Pupil Council, Health group and the Eco Group who also contributed. The children were involved throughout with design, choosing the equipment and drawing scale plans of the proposed trail. This was very much a community effort for the benefit of our young people.’
First Minister and Local Gordon MSP, Alex Salmond, welcomed the “Awards for All” announcement, saying, “This is fantastic news and I would like to congratulate Christiana Reid on securing this much sought after funding, which I know will go a long way to helping benefit the community.”