This year’s Ambleside Sports will take place on Thursday 25th July at Rydal Park in Cumbria. This unique sports day features traditional Lakeland sports; with five hours of events, including quirky Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling matches.
There has been a traditional sports day in Ambleside as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries, when cock-fighting and bare fist boxing were the acceptable sports of the day. From the 1800s onwards, wrestling contests took place, but it wasn’t until after the second world war that the modern-day Ambleside Sports began.
Sports at this year’s event will include Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling, fell and guide races, hound trailing, grass track cycle racing, track races and children’s races.
Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling is believed to have been introduced by the Vikings over 1000 years ago. It sees competitors from young to old meet in the ring, many dressed in traditional wrestling attire. Those in traditional dress, line up prior to the wrestling matches to take part in the costume contest.
The competitors wear vests, Long Johns and velvet trunks, often embroidered with intricate designs. These are scrutinised by a judge before the wrestling itself begins.
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 is judged over the best of three falls.
In addition to the traditional sporting events, there will be a food court, with both local and international food on offer, trade stands, children’s rides and games, and a bar selling real ale.
The gates will open at 10am, with the first event taking place at 12 noon and the last event at around 5pm.
When: 25th July 2019
Where: Rydal Park, near Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9PN
£: Admission costs £7 for adults, £3 for youths (12 – 17 years), and accompanied children under 12 years go free. Car parking costs £3
More info: amblesidesports.co.uk