The Festival of Suffolk, which will mark and celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, is pleased to announce another headline event taking place this summer. The Suffolk Community Games, which will take place on Saturday 9th July at the Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre and King Edward VI School facilities, will see hundreds of school children and their families engaging in a day packed with fun and inclusive sports and activities.
Thanks to funding provided by the Festival of Suffolk’s headline sponsor Tru7Group and Suffolk local authorities: Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, West Suffolk Council, Babergh District Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Ipswich Borough Council, a large number of traditional and non-traditional sporting activities will be available for young people and their families throughout the day.
David Sheepshanks CBE DL, one of the Directors of the Festival and Chair of the organising committee said:
“The Suffolk Community Games promises to be a very special day in our calendar with plenty of sporting activities for all family members attending to enjoy watching and more importantly, to have a go at trying.
Putting the event on is a huge team effort and we are enormously grateful to all those involved, however none more so than Active Suffolk, who have generously taken the lead in helping us to organise the day.
As much as a fun day, we also want young people from all backgrounds across the whole county, who do not normally get the chance to participate in such sports and events, to come and ‘give it a go’ and have a day to remember!”
Active Suffolk, the lead organisers of the Suffolk Community Games have collaborated with several delivery partners and plans for the event are now firmly underway. Partners playing a pivotal role on the day include Inspire Suffolk, Special Olympics Suffolk, The Suffolk FA, Ipswich Town Football Club Community Trust, Explore Outdoor from Abbeycroft Leisure and Skate Suffolk, to name but a few.
James Payne, Senior Development Officer at Active Suffolk said:
“The Suffolk Community Games is set to be an incredibly fun day and Active Suffolk are excited to be playing a lead role in organising such a prestigious event.
The event will allow children from all backgrounds across the county to try sports and activities that they may not ordinarily get the opportunity to do. We want the Suffolk Community Games to open new doors for young people and their families, whilst also encouraging them to find confidence, passion and enthusiasm for movement, physical activity, and sport in their everyday lives.“
As the Active Partnership for the county, Active Suffolk’s overall vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of those living in the county, through inspiring everyone to be more active. In line with the Uniting the Movement strategy launched by their primary funders, Sport England, this exciting event is set to connect communities, create positive experiences for young people and tackle inequalities which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Cllr Jo Rayner, Cabinet member for Leisure and Heritage at West Suffolk Council said:
“I hope very much that young people who don’t usually have a chance to do these activities come along to this high profile, multi-sport event and have a wonderful time. It will be a fantastic day, with all kinds of experiences, laughs and achievements, and everyone is welcome, whatever your physical ability.”
The schedule of activities for the day includes skateboarding, football and paddle boarding, whilst the event will also be hosting the Special Olympics Suffolk Athletics Competition which is part of the prestigious Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Series of Sport, providing an excellent opportunity for athletes with an intellectual disability to perform in front of the wider Suffolk community.
Cllr Bobby Bennett, Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities at Suffolk County Council, said:
“Suffolk County Council is pleased to be supporting the Festival of Suffolk Community Games. Not only is it a wonderful way of celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee but we hope it will also encourage more people to be physically active in a fun and enjoyable way.”
Event partner Vertas will also be supporting the day by offering transport for families where this may be a barrier, not only to ensure inclusivity, but also to consider the impact on the environment which the Festival of Suffolk is proud to support as one of the six core areas the organisers aim to consider.
Further details about the event will be released in the lead up to the day via the Active Suffolk social media channels, the Active Suffolk website and the Festival of Suffolk website, where you can find details of all other scheduled events for the summer.
[Photo: Children and organisers come together at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre to launch the Festival of Suffolk Community Games. Credit: Chris Last, Reprographics & Audio-Visual Technician, King Edward VI School]