Fun, friendship and physical fitness at 9th annual Have A Go Festival

Attendees left bursting with pride and well-deserved medals

Fun, friendship and physical fitness at 9th annual Have A Go Festival

More than 200 people gathered for sporting activities and fun at the 9th annual Have a Go Festival.

Each year people with a learning disability in Oxfordshire get together to meet new people, see old friends and try out a range of sports and physical activities.

The event was hosted by Oxford Health’s Adult Community Learning Disabilities teams in partnership with Active Oxfordshire at Horspath Athletics Ground in Horspath.

The rain held off and although the sun did not quite make it out from behind the clouds, the ice cream van was welcomed and a great time was had by all.

On the day all nine activities – cycling, cricket, football, drums, boccia, tennis, dance, archery and athletics – were adapted to facilitate participation, modified for any physical disabilities and promoted inclusivity.  All the participants completed a sticker chart as they tried out each activity and proudly received a medal at the end.

Among those taking part were Lucille and Paul who said they were “proud to have a medal”.

Tony said that he had had fun and that he “liked the dancing with ribbons and will come again next year”.

Visitors from Banbury daytime support service said the “cycling and drums were brilliant”.

And Abingdon community support service participants said how much they “liked the drumming”.

Michelle Fisher AHP lead for learning disability services said: “It was wonderful to see everyone getting involved with all of the different activities and ‘having a go.’  It is our hope that this event will encourage people to join an activity on a regular basis and experience all the benefits of improved physical fitness.

“We had over 200 attendees taking part who had travelled across the whole county from Chipping Norton and Banbury in the north to Wantage and Henley in the south and from Carterton to Thame. At one time we had minibuses triple parked! And a big thank you to everyone for all the behind the scenes planning and organising. We look forward to doing it all again in 2024 for our 10th year of running the Have a Go Festival!”

With special thanks to event activity contributors:

  • Oxford United FC and Phoebe from Active Oxfordshire for providing Football.
  • CyclAbility (previously Wheels for All) for providing Cycling.
  • Angela and colleagues from Oxford Health Charity for providing Dance.
  • Kate from GLL for providing Tennis.
  • Peter and colleagues from Oxford Cricket Club for providing Cricket.
  • Lisa and colleagues from Drums Alive for providing Drumming.
  • Rory and colleagues from Oxsrad for providing Boccia.
  • Volunteers on the day for providing Archery and Athletics
  • SCAS for providing superb medical cover
  • All Oxford Health and Active Oxfordshire volunteers who supported the smooth running of the event.

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Published: 24 July 2023