Festival of Sport seeks to capitalise on Olympics fever

Scottish Borders Festival of Sport launch. From left, Hannah Scott, Jessica Mane, Finlay Wheelans, Blake Cullen and Amy Dow.
Scottish Borders Festival of Sport launch. From left, Hannah Scott, Jessica Mane, Finlay Wheelans, Blake Cullen and Amy Dow.

ORGANISERS of a multi-sports festival running across the East of Scotland next month are expecting Olympics fever to create a surge of interest in the activities it is promoting.

The Festival of Sport, taking place from September 1 to 14, will be the biggest of its kind ever staged in Scotland, giving people of all ages the chance to try an almost endless range of sports.

And, the Borders, plus other five local authorities – City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and Fife – have joined forces with sportscotland to make the Festival bigger and better than anything seen previously.

This will be a perfect opportunity for clubs and organisations in this region to showcase the many great sporting and physical activity opportunities available locally and 22 sports in the area have signed up to get people involved in the event.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure Trust, said: “Our clubs have embraced the idea and are keen to use the festival as a vehicle to promote themselves and we are pleased that we have overtaken last year’s figure of 25 clubs involved by a further 14.

“We have offered a great selection of supporting marketing communications activities to promote the festival across the region.

“As a result we’re confident we will see more than double last year’s number of people taking part this time around.”

There really will be something for everybody and the huge majority of the opportunities are free.

The festival carries the prestigious London 2012 Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme, which recognises exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games.

Taking place just after the London Olympics and during the Paralympic Games, the festival presents a unique platform to capture the interest generated by the Games to get people involved.

“Our Olympic Passport Project has just come to a close so the timing of the festival is ideal,” added Jackson.

“People have really been inspired by the Olympics and this will help everyone make the most of their new-found enthusiasm for sport and physical activity.”

The festival offers an ideal opportunity for clubs to promote themselves and it couldn’t be easier – all they have to do is open their doors to new members on an existing training night.

Clubs could also offer taster sessions, demonstrations or competitions to really encourage people to take part.

Clubs from the four Scottish Borders sports council areas, Berwickshire, Tweeddale, Roxburgh, and Ettrick and Lauderdale, have all signed up and there is still time to register.

The wide range of sports available to people of all ages and abilities includes: martial arts, equestrianism, tennis, badminton, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, football and much more.

For further information about the Festival of Sport in the Borders go to www.sportborders.org.uk.