Excitement builds for great gala day

FOOTBALL clubs, volunteers and community leaders are gearing up for a sports-themed community gala day in Swinton on Saturday.

Held at Swinton Park Road Welfare grounds, the event is set to make the most of the town’s rich sporting past.

Opening at 10am, fully qualified football coaches will host an open training session on the fields for youngsters aged 6-11, while their adult counterparts will get the chance to compete for the mantle of Swinton’s best five-a-side team from 1pm.

Aside from the football, South Yorkshire Police, Fire & Rescue, Swinton Sport & Health Group, and a mix of public, private and charitable bodies will hold their own roadshow in the gala’s own marquee.

The fun and games will continue in the afternoon with Rotherham Council’s Sports Development Team offering Olympic-style games.

Groundwork Dearne Valley will be co-ordinating novelty games such as Frizzy Wink Cups, shoe golf - flicking your shoe off your foot at a mat with a target on, hula hoops, kicking a visually impaired football into a goal with blindfolds on and giant garden games like Jenga, skittles and dominoes.

The site will be trimmed with Olympic themed commemorative bunting and signage to celebrate the passing of the torch through Rotherham on June 26.

Swinton councillor Ken Wyatt, who has been a part of the organisation committee for the event, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into putting the event together and it will be great to see the community of Swinton come together to celebrate not only the Olympics but its own sporting and cultural heritage.

“The event will cater for young and old, boys and girls, men and women and will hopefully mark the inauguration of an annual event that Swinton and Rotherham can be proud of.

“There will be something for everyone so come along and join in the fun.”

Other features of the event will include a stall from Swinton Heritage Group, the showcasing of a classic car, memorabilia and goodies from Rotherham United and demonstrations from the fire service.

There will also be a special prize raffle, bouncy castle and representatives of Swinton Athletic FC will be on site.

Car parking will be offered at the nearby Swinton Community School.

Any funds raised from the event will be used to directly support more sporting and community-based activity in Swinton over the coming years.