It has been a great year for sport so far and there is plenty more to come from the nation’s finest athletes! Take the stars of the future to free or great value sporting activities near you this summer. Whether you join in or just spectate, let these ideas inspire you for your family days out with the kids.
Racing family days out across the UK
Fancy a flutter? Children go free at racing meets in Redcar (22 July), Bangor on Dee (24 July and 29 Aug), York (27-28 July), Newmarket (28 July), Chester and Newbury 5 August), Ascot (11 August), Kempton Park (17 August), Ffos Las (23 August), Huntingdon and Epsom Downs (27 August) and Folkestone (2 September).
Sporting activities with the kids: North
Co Fermanagh’s Belcoo Sports and Festival has been running for decades, with generations enjoying the fishing competitions, running events, parades and the concluding sports day. From 9-15 August (07830 032200).
Falkirk Community Trust’s extensive programme of sports activities sees organized events for nursery, primary and secondary aged children from as little as £2 during the holiday weeks. Kayaking, tennis, football and golf are amongst the sports on offer until 17 August (01324 590940).
The Urban Games 2012 is the north’s biggest festival of urban sports and arts, showcasing BMXing, skateboarding, free running contests and more. This year’s event will be taking place 17-19 August in Newcastle Upon Tyne city centre (0191 447 8808).
Sporting activities with the kids: Central
There’s some wheely exciting cycling to be seen at the 2012 Halo British Downhill Series events in Oswestry (21-22 July), Powys (4-5 August) and Ludlow (25-26 August), where spectating is free (0121 423 3532).
Advance tickets are just £5 each for the Stoneleigh Park Community Games, being held 4-5 August in Warwickshire. Local sports clubs will be there to allow you to try out most of the Olympic activities. And afterwards, watch all the real Olympians on-screen! (02476 858 256).
Boys and girls aged 5-11 can enjoy free football skills coaching with professional FA Skills Coaches at six Suffolk locations from 23 July–3 August. Mini-games and activities will instruct in skills such as technique and co-ordination. Sessions run 10-12pm and 1-3pm.
Sporting activities with the kids: South
On yer bike! Join in with supervised family cycle rides along a choice of routes at Dinton Pastures near Wokingham, before ending at the nature reserve’s café for a well-earned refreshment stop. Children must be aged 8+. Saturdays until 8 September, 10am-12 noon (0118 908 8208).
Children under 16 can enjoy free swimming sessions at the Archway Leisure Centre (020 7281 4105), Cally Pool (020 7278 1890) and Highbury Pool (020 7704 2312) in London’s Islington area from 24 July to 2 September. Register and obtain an entry card first.
Get along to the tenth World Bellyboard Championships at St Agnes in Cornwall on 2 September. Or why not enter? Junior categories are being held for under 16s. If you don’t fancy getting wet, just focus on the entries in the WBBC 2012 Bake Off instead!
Do check all details ahead of your visit. And please share details of any forthcoming events with the sporty factor in your area! Just add your comments below.