So, the sun has set on another Sutton Coldfield Community Games and what a scorcher it was!
We’ve been blessed with good weather for every Sutton Games so far and this year was no different with the sun beating down on both days to make this the hottest Games in our six-event history.
But it wasn’t just the sun that made this weekend a scorcher. England vs Sweden meant we experienced a comparatively quiet Saturday, yet prior to kick off Wyndley was a sea of activity and the Sunday was as popular as ever.
Six Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and World champions joined us and spent hours inspiring a new generation to love physical activity. Sutton Games veterans Jane Sixsmith, Darren Harris, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, Hamish Carter and Laura Whittle were joined by four-time world discus champion, Kevin Brown. Kevin, who also holds the world record for pulling a truck, also pulled a Porsche Boxster down the start/finish straight much to the amazement of everyone present!
With just over 90 sports and activities provided over the two days, visitors were never short of something to do. Sutton Games veterans including The Kick Start Academy, Veseyans Rugby Club, SE Fitness, Sutton Coldfield Fencing Club and Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club were joined by a number of new providers, perhaps the most visible of which was Urbantrix. Their scaffold super-structure saw their own team of free-runners perform spectacular stunts before helping adventurous youngsters try the sport of parkour for themselves.
Sutton Coldfield Scouts had a bigger presence than ever and on Sunday brought a climbing wall along, which proved incredibly popular and provided another Games first. And Sutton Coldfield Hockey Club twisted the arms of England Hockey to have the Women’s Hockey World Cup at their stand. Mums in the Know created a sheltered haven for pre-school children and their parents, while Nordic Walking proved popular with our more mature visitors.
Musical entertainment was provided by a terrific range of local artists, once again organised by the every supportive Real Life Church.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street called in to see for himself why the Sutton Games has become the biggest and most successful event of its type in the UK, while the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Sutton’s own Mayor, Derrick Griffin both attended and spent time thanking the many volunteers for their contributions. Sport Birmingham CEO Mike Chamberlain came too to officially open the event on Saturday, while Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust’s John Hemming did the honours on Sunday.
In another first, Andrew Mitchell assembled a cross-party team of the town’s elected representatives to challenge a team of super-competitive children in a tug of war – a challenge that ended in a 2-1 defeat for the councillors and MP!
Our sponsors once again rolled up their sleeves and demonstrated why they’re organisations with a genuine passion for their local community. Porsche Sutton Coldfield created a brilliant pedal kart circuit, Green & Company’s football challenge saw them give away 260 footballs and over 1,500 t-shirts, Kick Start Academy’s team laid on an array of activities from archery to lacrosse, Fairfax Multi Academy Trust gave rugby and netball demonstrations, and Sutton Spas’ World Cup themed competition saw one lucky entrant go home with a hot tub for the weekend! WAA Chosen’s heroic efforts in marketing the event are worthy of a mention too.
New for this year was a superb shuttle service provided by Star Cars. Star’s team of cheery drivers ran over 300 trips between Wyndley, Powell’s Pool and Blackroot Pool, helping more people than ever try the water sports on offer.
And our army of Bishop Vesey Games Makers, in their distinctive green t-shirts, once again turned out in force to play their vital role of supporting the core team and helping Buddy high five as many children as humanly possible!
There are literally hundreds of others who deserve a heart-felt thank you for their contribution too – you know who you are and you should be very proud of your role.
So that’s it for another year – at least it is for Sutton Coldfield. Stay tuned for next year’s dates to be confirmed, and for news of other Community Games events coming soon to Lichfield, Tamworth and Kings Norton thanks to Sutton Games founder Dennis Kennedy’s new venture, Inspire Activity.
Thanks for coming, we hope you had as brilliant a time as us