What are your plans for this Saturday? Having a lie in, browse the web, laze in front of the TV, sunbathe (well, you never know…)? If so, think again – for on 23rd June Andover residents will have the perfect opportunity to do something more active with their day. From 10am-4pm, Vigo Road Recreation Ground will be buzzing with the Jamie G Sports Fair, an event that’s sure to give you an energy boost!
Opened by footballing skills legend Tom Folan, the Jamie G Sports Fair will be bustling with representatives from local sports clubs – including HugoFox.com sponsored club, Andover Hockey – who will be giving visitors a chance to try out a huge array of fun activities. Attendees will be able to try their hand at archery, boxing, darts, football, golf, hockey, rugby, swimming, tennis, and many more. With so many different sports on offer, it will be nigh impossible not to come away with a newfound hobby! And for those who enjoy being even more boisterous, the Fair will also host various other energetic attractions. A classic bouncy castle will be joined by more unusual neighbours: bungee trampolines, sumo wrestling, a surf simulator, and even an inflatable horse racing derby (because sometimes real horses just aren’t enough)!
Plenty of parking space will be found in the George Yard Car Park, and a selection of food – including that reliable favourite, hog roast – will be available to purchase at the fair.
The fair is being organised and funded by the Jamie G Sporting Trust, a registered charity that promotes and encourages sport and physical activity for the youth of Andover. The Trust was founded in August 2009 following the sudden and tragic death of young local Andover sportsman Jamie Gentleman on 15th March 2009, five days before his 14th birthday. Upon Jamie’s passing the community rose up in support of his family, with over 700 people attending a celebration of Jamie’s life at St. Mary’s Church. Deeply touched, and wanting to put something back into the local community which would reflect the spirit of Jamie, his family formed the Trust to help the sporting young of Andover.
Since then, the Trust has been committed to raising funds in support of local sports clubs. Although run by devoted individuals, these clubs are often constrained by a lack of resources for equipment, facilities, and coaching support. The Jamie G Sporting Trust helps to address that lack by providing financial support to enable clubs to do their work even better.
“Organised sport is a wonderful activity for young people to participate in,” the Trust says. “It teaches self discipline, cooperation and team spirit and engenders sportsmanship. It provides a healthy outlet for youthful exuberance and energy in a safe, controlled and productive environment, and instils a healthy exposure to the competitive spirit of sport which can also provide valuable lessons for modern-day living. The health-giving benefits of sport are obvious and sport is a contributor to physical fitness and the avoidance of obesity. The benefits of sport can be life-long and the relationships formed can be deep and lasting.”
The Trust has already awarded more than £60,000 back to Andover’s sporting young, helping local clubs with the costs of equipment and training – a feat they are rightly proud of. What’s more, their efforts have been met by huge enthusiasm from local residents, meaning that not only has it benefited the clubs and sporting young, but has kindled community spirit throughout the Andover area. It is certainly true to say that the Trust’s tireless efforts, along with the wonderful reception it has received so far, are a fitting tribute to the young Jamie and his excellent sportsmanship.
By visiting the Jamie G Sports Fair, local people can continue to demonstrate their support of community sports clubs in memory of Jamie. More information about the Trust’s work can visit their website, and those keen to help further might even think about raising funds for the Trust through their own sporting activity or adventure! If you need a bit of inspiration, this might spark an idea…