Thousands enjoy family fun at free samba-style play days

Friends Louise Drury (back centre) and Anna Hampton (back right) at the Burgess Hill Play Day in St Johns Park SUS-160825-125708001

Friends Louise Drury (back centre) and Anna Hampton (back right) at the Burgess Hill Play Day in St Johns Park SUS-160825-125708001

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More than 2,000 local children and their families enjoyed free games, sports, art and competitions in Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath as part of Play Day 2016.

Mid Sussex District Council organised Rio Carnival and 2016 Olympic Games-themed play days on August 3, 4 and 10 to give local youngsters fun activities to enjoy during the summer holidays.

“I’d like to thank everyone who came along and made our Play Day events such a huge success,” said councillor Peter Reed, chairman of Mid Sussex District Council. “They are among my favourite days of the year and it’s great to see so many people enjoying themselves.

“We all know how expensive it is for children in the summer holidays so it’s great that we’re able to host these Play Days for free. They’re a really good fun day out for the whole family.”

Track and field games, including foam javelin throwing, standing long jump, mini hurdles and a 25m sprint gave children the chance to emulate the achievements of their favourite Team GB athletes.

All the winners were presented with a medal on an Olympic-style podium.

Specialist immersive theatre company Goat and Monkey put on interactive dramas throughout the day.

Trained actors used wireless headphones and top trump style playing cards to lead children on an epic adventure, trekking through the perils and pitfalls of the Amazon rainforest to reach the ultimate goal; the Olympic Games in Rio.

There was the chance for youngsters to learn new skills, with trained circus performers on hand to show them how to juggle, tightrope walk, master the art of poi and walk on stilts.

Creative children made Olympic torches, carnival headdresses and samba shakers from craft materials and recycling.

Those who were brave enough took on the challenge of the climbing wall and everyone had great fun with the bouncy castle, face painting and drumming workshop.

Sara Pickett from Burgess Hill said: “I brought the kids because it’s a nice day out and there are lots of different things to see and do. It’s very good that it’s free. You meet a lot of people you don’t know, make new friends and it’s good for the kids because they can mix.

Friends Louise Drury and Anna Hampton added:“It’s been great; we’ve had a lovely time.

“We’ve done drumming, t-shirt painting, the sensory room, bouncy castle and bean bag games. It’s been a lovely day with fantastic activities.”

For more information about events for young people in Mid Sussex contact MSDC Community Development Officer Regina Choudhury on 01444 477495 or email youth@midsussex.gov.uk.