Marlborough’s Rec was humming on Saturday. The large green space, adjacent to the Youth Centre and newly-lit Skate Park was busier than it has been for a very long time.
Why? The Marlborough Festival of Sport. Youngsters between the ages of ten and nineteen were given the opportunity to try lots of different sports, some that they would have never ever come into contact with before under normal circumstances, but here they could – free – and even get lunch (burger, hot dog) as well.
Organised by Marlborough Sports Forum with help from Wiltshire and Swindon Sport it was funded by a Wiltshire Council grant via the Area Board with the aim of introducing (new) sports activities to the young of the town.
And they turned up in large numbers. There were fourteen different sports and activities on offer, from ‘Dodgeball’ to climbing – a large four-person wall was put up for kids to try rock climbing (in complete safety with harness, helmet and safety line). This proved extremely popular with just about everyone there wanting to come back even for a second try. Afraid of heights? Didn’t matter, this would give anyone the chance to climb in safety and possibly overcome any such fears.
Lots of other sports there making up the total of fourteen and these included hockey, cricket, rugby, football, volleyball, golf, archery, tennis, skateboarding…… and more.
‘it was great fun’…..‘I enjoyed trying lots of different sports’…..‘The volunteers were really nice, enthusiastic, kind & caring’.….‘The BBQ food was great’.…. were some of the many positive quotes that came back, topped by:
‘I didn’t expect it to be so brilliant!’ – which sort of says it all.
Organisers Simon Wells (Marlborough Sports Forum) and Dominique Oughton (Wiltshire and Swindon Sport) were pleased, surprised but above all left with an extremely positive feeling at the success of the day. The barbecue almost even ran out of hot dogs at lunchtime, it was that sort of day.
Dominique told marlborough.news: “We are delighted to have been able to work with and support Marlborough’s first Sports Festival. It was just fantastic to see so many young people having fun and having a go at fourteen different sports and activities. The Festival is just one part of the project, we will now work with individual young people, clubs and coaches helping young people access sport and activity across the town, enabling them to become more active on a regular basis.”
“What a great day it was” said Simon Wells to marlborough.news. “Seeing so many young people engaging in the different activities and interacting with each other and the coaches/ volunteers. Even the weather played it’s part! We have had some great feedback and are very pleased that all seem to have enjoyed it, parents included. A massive thank you to all involved in organising it and to all the volunteers and coaches who helped on the day. The Sports Forum will now be looking to build on this by providing support and assistance to all those who would like to become further involved in sport & physical activity around the town.”
Simon and Dominique were very keen to thank the other teams and organisations who made it such a successful day, obviously all of the sports coaches and sports clubs present who made each activity possible, but also Marlborough Town Council, Marlborough Youth & Community Centre, Marlborough College (for donating all of the BBQ food and volunteers), Waitrose, Tesco, St John’s School, and lastly, but most importantly, all the army of volunteers on the day who turned up to help.
For further information about sport in Marlborough, click here to visit the Sports Forum website.