From soccer to surf-boarding, cricket to golf, speedway to ice hockey – Swindon town centre is set to become a haven of sport during an action-packed weekend next month.
A Festival of Sport has been lined-up for 10 and 11 April when members of the public will be encouraged to try items from the huge range of sporting and leisure equipment available in specialist shops.
Swindon Town Football Club, along with stars from the Wildcats ice hockey and Swindon Robins speedway teams are all taking part, bringing their skills, expertise and equipment to the town centre.
Firmly focused on family fun, the festival will also include a series of hands-on sporting activities which will enable shoppers of all ages to get involved and have-a-go.
Among the attractions that will be taking place during a series of sessions at Wharf Green include a Soccer AM style inflatable target goal so dads can test their skills against their children.
Three of the country’s most talented “keepie uppy” experts – Macca, Ash and Lubz – will demonstrate their staggering skills and gravity defying stunts as part of a new freestyle football team.
Swindon Robins will be setting up a “Beat the Starter” facility where the public can test their reaction times in starting speedway bikes.
Right, launching the festival on 11 March, from left Simon Jackson, CEO inSwindon, Ryan Aldridge, Swindon Wildcats, Leigh Adams, Swindon Speedway, Aaron Nell, Swindon Wildcats, Suzy Johnson, Marketing and Events Officer inSwindon, Rebecca Rowland, Office Manager inSwindon
A speed-cage will also be supplied by Swindon Wildcats for people to test their deftness at smashing the puck into the net.
Body combat sessions, Velcro Golf, Hi Ball and Acroflight activities will all be available free of charge while a gymnasium with the latest hi-tech equipment will be set-up for a series of fitness competitions.
There will also be a surfing simulator in the heart of land-locked Swindon where members of the public can practise their bottom turns, reverses and slides – much to the interest and amusement to passers-by.
Organiser Suzy Johnson, of town centre managers inSwindon, says: “We’re really excited about the Festival of Sport. There will be so much going on.
“The whole weekend will revolve around sporting activities. There will be plenty to do and lots to watch.
“People will be encouraged to take part in a wide range of sports. The beauty of the festival is that anyone can have a go. The emphasis will be firmly on fun.”
One of the key aims will be to highlight the latest range of equipment stocked in town centre sports and leisure shops.
“This will enable members of the public to have a ‘try before you buy’ experience,” says Suzy.
“But that’s just part of it. We want to turn the town centre into a sporting arena with all sorts of activities going on. We’d like to see as many sports as possible represented.
“It will be a great opportunity for local clubs to promote themselves and show the people of Swindon what they have to offer as well as add to the fun of the occasion.”
Another key aspect of the Festival of Sport will be to promote healthy lifestyles.
“As a company, this is something inSwindon are very keen to promote. If the event encourages people to take up a sport then we will be delighted,” adds Suzy.
Much of the action will take place in Wharf Green next to the Big Screen with activities beamed onto the giant telly.