Weather acts as big dampener on games
5:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
WET weather is playing havoc with the attempts of Swindon Council and sports charity StreetGames to create a Commonwealth Games legacy in the town.
Since the charity gave 16 young people from Swindon the chance to attend the Glasgow event this summer, it and the council have been attempting to ride the wave of interest in sports with a series of pop-up festivals.
The most recent events took place at Meadowcroft Recreation Ground in Addison Crescent and at the playing fields in Buckhurst Crescent, though both were affected by the rain.
There are more events planned before the summer is out, at Seven Fields today, at St Mark’s on Friday and in Quarry Road next Monday.
Doug Imrie, sports participation manager at Swindon Council, said: “These are the ones we were hoping to finish the summer with.
“We have run these sessions from the start of August, but in a much smaller format, when the weather was hot and sunny.
“It’s Sod’s law we are getting the wet weather now after we have put more into each event and made it bigger.
“We had t-shirts and medals to hand out to kids who came along to play, after securing some extra funding.
“It’s been very limited in numbers, mainly due to the weather. Earlier this summer we did an event at Buckhurst and it had 47 young people there. The weather’s a huge shame.
“It started off really well this summer and we wanted it to finish with a bang, but that’s been scuppered by the weather.
“We may just take the gear we have and use it during the October half-term if we can’t generate anymore interest in the next week.”
At these pop-up festivals, equipment is provided to take part in multiple disciplines from within athletics, as well as table tennis and badminton, with rugby too, if the weather improves.
StreetGames has already enabled around 250 14 to 25-year-olds from Swindon to take part in their very own Commonwealth Games this summer.
Sixteen young people from Swindon StreetGames also attended a camp which StreetGames and Spirit set up in Glasgow.
The residential camp gave 1,000 young people from over 80 StreetGames projects the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and spirit of the Games.
They took part in outdoor challenges, pop-up festivals and were given the chance to see the professionals in action at the Games. The participants from Swindon were able to watch hockey and netball matches.
Coun Keith Williams, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Leisure, said: “The pop-up festivals are a great way of encouraging young people to try different sports and will really take advantage of the interest generated by a hugely successful Commonwealth Games.”
- For more information, search for Street Games Swindon on Facebook