Sunday, 22 September 2019

Families get feel for new sports and recreation ground

Families get feel for new sports and recreation ground

ABOUT 85 children enjoyed a water pistol fight on the last of nine days of organised summer holiday fun.

This took place in the field behind Kidmore End War Memorial Hall in Reades Lane, Sonning Common, which is to be redeveloped into a sports and recreation ground.

Some children fired water pistols at each other and their parents before taking it in turns to ride the water slide on bodyboards.

Others wandered off to explore the field or inspect the “bug hotel” they had constructed from wooden boards, pots and grass.

The fun was organised by Penny Snowden and Amanda Watkins- Cooke, who run the Active Leaders programme to teach young people employability skills and how to run events and activities. About 10 Active Leaders graduates were present. The fun days took place on weekdays over the past month and were attended by more than 600 people in total.

Other activities included wellie wanging, a mud kitchen, seed planting, tug of war and an obstacle course.  Some of the children also got to build wigwams and a giant cardboard castle.

Astrid Stevens, from Sonning Common, who was looking after four-year-old Elsie Yates, from Woodcote, said: “It’s just great to have something that’s free and open to everybody and in walking distance. It has been a great community event and got all the kids together.”

Dani Nixon, of Sedgefield Road, attended all three days last week with her sons Ben, four, and Zac, six, and one-year-old daughter Bella. She said: “It’s been brilliant. The boys wanted to keep coming back and loads of their school friends were there.  It’s really nice to have something outdoors and it was really good in bringing people together with their young children.”

Mrs Snowden said: “The feedback has been great and the Facebook messages have been really kind and positive.

“The kids have been going home completely exhausted because they’ve been outside all day and have had a lovely time.

“Parents have asked could this happen on a regular basis and is there going to be Christmas or Easter fun. We would love to sit down with Sonning Common Parish Council to see if we can make this a more regular thing.

“It has brought families from across the village together and because it’s free it’s accessible to everyone. It has also helped people see how the field could be used.”

The parish council plans to turn the 10-acre field into a community amenity with a multi-use games area, tennis courts and picnic and events areas.

Other ideas include an outdoor gym, multi-sport zones, rehabilitation areas and a café.

Parish clerk Philip Collings said the fun days were an important initiative that helped parents who were seeking things to entertain their children on the holidays and unable to visit theme parks and similar attractions every day.

He said: “It has shown everybody just what potential we have got here and it has been a good use of the field.”

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