When: 26th July 2012 (next year’s event will take place on 25th July 2013)
Where: Rydal Park, Ambleside, Cumbria
£: Adults 6, Youths (12 – 17 yrs) 3, under 12yrs free if accompanied by an adult, cars 3 and programme 2
What is it?
The opening ceremony may not have had quite the budget or flair of Danny Boyle’s but Ambleside’s Traditional Sports day did have a torch, drumming and a procession to kick off proceedings. The torch-bearer in this case was a man on stilts and the sporting feats of the day had a distinctive Cumbrian style to them.
Throughout the day there were races including a 9 mile fell run, kids races, cycle races and dog trails but perhaps the most interesting and quirky of the events was the Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling. Competitors from a young age and some in traditional dress met in the ring. Those in traditional dress lined up and took part in the costume contest where their outfits of Long Johns, velvet trunks and vests were rather closely inspected.
The wrestlers meet in the ring with a shake of hands before linking together in a backhold grip to try to wrestle one another to the ground. Each bout was judged over the best of three falls. For me the rustic and sometimes eccentric commentary during the competition made it all the more entertaining to watch.
Other entertainment included fairground rides, a craft tent, a beer tent (always popular), food stalls, games, music and circus skills.
Despite the threat of rain there was a good turn-out and everyone seemed to enjoy Ambleside’s traditional day of sporting fun.
More info: www.amblesidesports.co.uk