An Aberdeen-based charity, which won a bid to transform a derelict area of Aberdeen into a modern football centre, is today, Monday, 24 May 2021 celebrating welcoming the first players on to the pitches
The Alhikmah Foundation, part of the Masjid Alhikmah mosque in Nelson Street, has championed the development of the centre which will offer the community access to five, five-a-side football pitches and two seven-a-side football pitches.
The all-weather facility, will be called 5ives Football Centre after the management company that will run it and will feature world-class AstroTurf, on-site changing and showering facilities, LED floodlighting and 35 car parking spaces. The development had previously been given a working title of Urban Fields.
The transformation of the 1.5-acre space – which was once home to disused playing fields and a pavilion owned by Aberdeen City Council – will be a welcome addition for city residents looking to participate in outdoor activity as the current lockdown restrictions are lifted. The existing pavilion has undergone refurbishment and a new road has been built to give access into and out of the development.
Foundation trustee, Aqeel Ajazi said: “We’ve had an incredible amount of support for this development since day one so to be finally opening our doors, having achieved exactly what we set out to, is a fantastic moment.
“It’s been a long and winding road, but we got here, with the support of our partners 5ives and the community, and we’re incredibly proud of what’s been created for the Aberdeen community at a time when sadly so many other projects have had to put the brakes on due to the impact of the pandemic – it’s a great accomplishment for every individual who has been part of the process.
“As we all know outdoor sports are going to be in high demand in the coming months so the timing for the complex opening couldn’t be better. Thanks to the central location – close to both the college and universities – we expect the pitches to be extremely popular with young and old, and a mix of individuals and club bookings.”
Humza Malik, Director of 5ives Football Centre and Project Team Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this fantastic collaboration between ourselves and the Foundation. Football is a great way of bringing the community together – now more so than ever – and we can’t wait to welcome people on to the pitches.
“This new facility will allow Aberdeen to nurture future talents and enable them to have the right facilities to progress. We have already built strong links with many organisations and teams and will continue to do that as we open our doors. I’m grateful to the 5ives team for their hard work behind the scenes that has enabled this to happen. We are excited for everyone to see it.”
Mr Ajazi added: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the numerous individuals and groups in the local and wider community who got behind this initiative, as well as Aberdeen City Council who have been keen supporters at every step of the way and gave us the green light to take it forward.
“We have been blown away by the level of support since we first bid for the site back in 2017. While it’s taken a little longer than anticipated to reach this point, we expect that the complex will fast become a dynamic sports hub and help everyone get back out and about enjoying sport as the city opens up in the months ahead.”
To mark the opening, the centre is hosting a charity football tournament on Sunday, 24 May, featuring 24 teams. All proceeds will go to the Archie Foundation.
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