The UK’s oldest-established traditional sporting event is looking for more helpers to take the event forward to a successful future.
Ambleside Sports was held this summer for the 131st time, featuring track and fell running, junior races, Cumberland wrestling, track cycling and hound trailing. It’s organised entirely by a team of volunteers who are now looking to recruit new members.
Chairman Jak Hirst said: “Our committee runs the most successful volunteer organisation in Cumbria, and we have a spectacular event which is loved by thousands of visitors every year. But we need some younger people with energy and ideas to share in our success.
“We know that many local families have children who take part in the sports, the running and wrestling, and we hope that they might consider giving just a little of their time to help us provide these activities.”
Mr Hirst pointed out that the committee meets only six times a year, with a need for “able bodies” during show week to set up and dismantle the site. “A bit of extra help with administration and secretarial work can also go a long way,” he added.
The Sports was part of the Lake District’s successful bid for World Heritage status. The LDNP co-ordinator said at the time of the bid: “Local people are at the heart of the rich, cultural landscape of the Lake District. The survival of our local traditions associated with hill farming culture, including annual agricultural shows, shepherds’ meets and traditional sports, such as Ambleside Sports, are a crucial part of our case for World Heritage.”
The committee has organised an extra meeting on Thursday November 9 at the Golden Rule in Ambleside (7.30) and hopes that new recruits will come along to learn how they can help. “We’ll buy you a drink and make you very welcome,” said Mr Hirst. “It’s your chance to help ensure that this fantastic tradition continues.”