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Big Stockport events

In this post I wanted to share the latest events programme launched by Stockport Sports Trust, where I am a Director and Trustee.

Inspired by London 2012? Want to become more physically active? Want to raise money for a charity that is close to you? Want to challenge yourself? More details including how to register at:

In summary, options are:

The Big Stockport Walk – 9th September 2012
Distance: 10 Miles
Start Time: From 10.00am until 12.00 noon
Entry Cost: £5.00

The Big Stockport Cycle – 16th September 2012
Distance: 20 Miles
Start Time: From 10.00am until 11:30am
Entry Cost: £10.00

The Big Stockport Run – 23rd September 2012
Distance: 10km
Start Time: 10.00am
Entry Cost: £12 reduced to £10 for runners registered with England Athletics.

Already, there seems a possibility of a reunion of some of the County Charity Cycle participants. At the timing of writing I think I might just consider all three!

Register and pay before 31st July to be in with a chance of gaining £500 for your chosen charity. I’m going to do them for a new social enterprise in Stockport that I’ve agreed to be Director to.

Let’s be Frank

It’s two years since the departure from his and our lives.  Frank Sidebottom R.I.P. 

I doubt I’ll ever go to Timperley Labour Club again but that’s exactly where I went to watch this giant papier-mâché head and his repertoire of wit and sound northern humour.  Not everyone’s taste but he tickled me.

It was said: “Frank was a brilliant comic creation that only Chris [Sievey] could have invented. His face as recognisable a symbol of Mancunian warmth and good humour as any you could wish to find.”

A devoted City fan, the role of a mascot can reach into many lives.  My Son remembers the trip to Elland Road not for County’s defeat but the leopard on the pitch. Of course, he’s now befriended Vernon Bear.  There’s even been some unscheduled rivalry between these ‘figure-heads’ of clubs.  But in the Year of the Olympics, I wonder if any special competition will materialise to the annual race.

Safety is our goal!

A post with a difference illustrating the human interest topic of ‘child safety’ in its broadest sense.  Kindly scribed by Sian Peak for Simple Safety Solutions (where I am a Non-Executive Director) and repeated here.

“As Britain’s Sky Plus boxes go into overdrive to avoid us missing a glimpse of the Euros, footie fanatics in their thousands come together to support our boys.  For me, having chosen to spend the start of the sporting schedule hiding on a sun lounger in the Algarve, it was quickly clear that there was no getting away from footie fever no matter how many air miles I clocked up.

Dragged against my will off my sun lounger by an eager other-half, kitted out in his beloved team kit, I endured the Denmark vs Portugal game in a Portugese sports bar on the promise that I would be rewarded with a large piece of cake. Easily swayed.  As the game heated up, I was met with a sea of red and white polyester as stereotypical ‘holiday Dads’ shared the experience with their wide-eyed sons in their brand spanking new team kits, enjoying a few high fives, and copious refills of Coca Cola.   Now I’m all for being patriotic and co-ordinating my wardrobe in an attempt to support the beloved game, but as I count yet another pint-sized, patriot sporting the latest team colours, I can’t help my internal calculator from totting up the amounts it must’ve cost to kit these kids out!  

Mumsnet calculated that the average cost of a replica kit for an eight-year-old stands at £57.54, with seven top clubs charging £60 or more. Add to that, names, badges and logos, the average complete replica strip comes in at around £80, meaning parents have spent the cost of an airline ticket before they’ve even set foot off the plane!   Not one for being stingy of course, but in the current economic climate (and looking at the painfully sunburned shoulders bobbing up and down around me), my safety radar tells me that our summer spends could be better spent.   In 30 degree heat, any sun-savvy Mum knows that protection is a number one priority when holidaying with mini sun-seekers.  Yet lack of funds/suitcase space/forward planning, often leaves kids without the essentials to protect them from sun damage. There’s a great range of sun protection gear available for children of all ages, at an affordable cost to ensure safety whilst in the sun.  Jakabel’s range of Sun Protection T-Shirts come in at less than half the cost of a football kit, and offer an SPF of 50+ along with quick dry technology. Sporty looking too! Add to that a pair of Sun Protection Shorts and you’ve got a team kit of your own for your beach-bound brood!  

Of course, kids will always want to keep up with the trends and feel involved in the event, and parents always want their mini-supporters to have the best. But if budget restrictions mean compromising safety for style, I say opt for a cheaper, unbranded replica kit from the likes of M&S, and spend your hard earned cash on essentials that won’t be out of date next year, or leave your little wanderers with souveneir sunburns!”

I’ve taken the plunge and bought another item from the fascinating Simple Safety Solutions’ portfolio, a Swimfin that my Son just loves and feels trendy wearing – even Kai Rooney has just been using it in L.A and Coleen says “Kai loves his fin!!”

In the big County

The inspiration for today’s post comes from Save The Mighty Imps.  The subject of interest is the ‘ups and downs’, namely promotion and relegation, from the Blue Square Premiership (BSP).  A motion has been tabled for a four up four down remodelling to end of season protocol. 

Apparently, Stockport County is one of the ‘big 8’ that seeks modifications in the desire to try and orchestrate a swift return to league status.  This along with: Luton, Wrexham, Hereford, Mansfield, Macclesfield, Lincoln and Grimsby.

I have alluded to the exacerbation of financial woes associated with a drop to BSP.  Luton Town having missed out in this Year’s play offs final state: “each season spent out of the League is costing them £1M”.

Not only am I delighted that County is still referred to as ‘big’ (though our attendances have been a credit in BSP) but if this new system were to be adopted of course the probability of one of these big ones returning would increase.  When will this decision be ratified or not?  Has anyone seen minutes from the latest BSP AGM?