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Pupils make maths count at AAM Scottish Open

Make Maths Count initiative
Ian Clarkson, Provost of North Ayrshire, Nicola Sturgeon, First Mininster and Martin Gilbert CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management with children from local schools. (Photo Getty Images)

Golf has always been a game of numbers and thanks to a novel initiative at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the figures certainly stacked up for competitors at Dundonald Links.

Together with the Scottish Government and North Ayrshire Council, the title sponsors came up with an entertaining idea to encourage greater enthusiasm for maths which saw all 18 flags for the opening round of the $7 million event carry mathematic calculations depicting their number.

As part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Making Maths Count’ project, a competition was staged for primary and secondary schools across North Ayrshire to come up with the calculations to be printed on the flags, with a panel of four judges from the competition organisers selecting their favourite calculations to be used on the opening day of the tournament.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined pupils from the participating schools to discuss the competition and see the calculations on display at the course and she said: “Linking maths to sport in such a creative way through this brilliant initiative demonstrates the subject’s relevance and fun.

“It embodies much of the Scottish Government’s ‘Making Maths Count’ approach, which encourages people to appreciate maths, and promotes confidence and learning.

“I am very impressed with the creativity of the young people from Ayrshire schools in developing their calculations and am proud that their work will be viewed on the world stage.

“I want Scotland to be much more positive in its attitude to maths and I am very grateful to Aberdeen Asset Management, the European Tour and to schools in North Ayrshire for such a great celebration of maths and numbers at the Scottish Open.”

The competition was a great way for the young people to apply their maths skills in the context of sport and the removal of the regular 1-18 pin flags certainly made Marc Warren pay extra attention.

“This is a fantastic initiative and I was intrigued to see the different calculations as I approached each green,” he said.

“The local school children did a great job in preparing the calculations and almost catching us golfers out!”

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert is represented on the Scottish Government’s Making Maths Count expert group and said: “I am delighted that through our sponsorships of both the men’s and ladies’ Scottish Opens we could do our bit to make maths more engaging for pupils, which is absolutely crucial.

“Initiatives of this kind raise awareness of the importance of these essential skills.”

The Making Maths Count is a Scottish Government initiative to encourage greater enthusiasm for maths amongst children and young people, their parents, carers and the wider public.

North Ayrshire’s Provost Ian Clarkson said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this fantastic initiative which has really helped engage our young people with maths. We’re sure all our winners will be thrilled to see their flags on display during the event.”

The Making Maths Count initiative will also be running on the first day’s play of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open that takes place at Dundonald Links from 27-30 July.

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