Home » All posts » [Video 3.25] Ready about! Our Olympic Challenge (outdoor sports) starts with sailing


We failed to get any tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I know that when the Games start, if we’re slobbing out on the sofa just watching it all, we’re going to feel as though we’re really missing out.

I have, however, discovered another way for us all to feel part of the Games. It’s called the Youth & Family Gold Challenge. Anyone aged seven to 15 can take part, either as an individual, part of a family, or in a team. (Those of us older than 15 can take part by getting in on the ‘family’ or ‘team’ act, or join the grown-up version.)

Basically, you set your own Olympic goal and raise money for a charity of your choice. There are three ways to take part – you just pick the Challenge that suits you or your family.

We’re going for the 5 Sport Challenge (three hours’ coaching in five different sports), kicking off with an hour’s sailing taster (the Challenge paid for this) at Doe Park reservoir near Denholme, Bradford, joined by my friend Razia and her son, Q. I wasn’t sure how they’d get on – neither of them had ever been in a boat before, and they were both a bit anxious. Razia told me – afterwards – that she nearly drowned as a child (we’re talking chest-pumping). Q kept asking about sharks and crocodiles. I don’t think the news that someone once caught a pike there the size of a kayak didn’t make him feel much better.

But we all loved it. The boys were completely absorbed and quickly picked up how to use the tiller and got into the spirit of calling ‘ready-about’ when it was time to tack.

But the thing that really made it for me was Q’s comment at the end…


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