England celebrates one year to go

Thursday 21, July 2011


England celebrates one year to go


On 27 July, the one-year countdown will begin for London 2012. Visitengland looks at some of countdown events taking place across the country this weekend.


London 2012 Open Weekend will celebrate one year to go until the Games. Taking place 22-24 July, over 1,000 events across the country will kick off the countdown, with marching bands, circus tricks, interactive swimming and sport high on the agenda.


VisitEngland looks at some of the weekend’s highlights.


OXFORD: Barton Big Swim Challenge, 24 July

The Big Swim is an interactive art event aimed at persuading more people to swim, by offering them a rather unusual aquatic experience. Visitors will swim through a misty haze of light and colour based on the five Olympic colours: blue, yellow, purple, green and red. The project has been created by artist Tine Bech and has been awarded the prestigious London 2012 ‘Inspire Mark’.


BIRMINGHAM: Circus in the City, 22 July

Marking the countdown to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Birmingham’s London 2012 Open Weekend will showcase the best of what the UK has to offer in art, dance and film. There will be a raft of free family activities around the city, including Circus in the City. Nofit State Circus will arrive at Cathedral Grounds to animate Birmingham’s Business District for Feel Good Friday! Flags will be flying, bands will be strolling and spectators of the Circus will soon be inspired to jump up and have a go too.


STRATFORD-UPON-AVON: Community Games, 23 July

Taking place at Stratford-upon-Avon Recreation Ground, the Community Games will have music, traditional sports day games, circus skills, a climbing wall, sports club ‘have a go’ sessions and a mass balloon launch.


BOURNEMOUTH: Skyride Bournemouth, 24 July

Open to people of all ages and abilities, Skyride Bournemouth is a free cycling event aimed at getting one million people to cycle regularly by 2013. The 7.5km route starts at Meyrick Park, travels down Braidley Road and takes in the Upper, Middle and Lower Gardens, passing Bournemouth Pier and the Bournemouth Balloon. “This is all about having a fun day out, it’s not a race, and cyclists can do as much or as little of the route as they want at their own pace,” said Skyride Bournemouth’s event organiser David Williams. “There’ll be masses going on at Meyrick Park all day – live music, children’s rides, a racing track for kids, magicians, food and drink – you name it, it’s happening.”

Register online at 


COVENTRY: Legends of the Past – Athletes of the Future, 23 July

In a celebration of athletes past, present and future, Olympians and Paralympians from Coventry and Warwickshire will be joined by up-and-coming athletes aspiring to compete in London 2012, Glasgow 2014 and Rio 2016. Taking place outside Coventry’s Live Site screen, the event will include interviews, challenges and inspirational videos.


HASTINGS: Active Hastings, 22 July

Granted the Inspire Mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme, the Active Hastings Project will offer a full range of Olympic and Paralympic sports in Alexandra Park for the whole family to take part in.


OXFORD: Step Up For Sport, 23-24 July

Oxford’s River & Rowing Museum is setting visitors a walking challenge from 10:30am to 4pm on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July. Pick up a Trail Pack and explore the collections and museum surroundings, keeping track of the number of steps taken and calories burned. You can then see how this compares to an Olympian in training. There are eight trails to choose from. The pack and pedometer hire cost £1.50 per person.


For more information about events taking place near you this weekend, visit



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