Fit fundraisers took part in a sports challenge to raise £3600 for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.
The first Wichelstowe Games were held on Saturday August 24th on the southern edge of Swindon, where a short stretch of the waterway has already been restored.
Conceived by Karl Drew, the General Manager of the new Hall & Woodhouse pub adjacent to the canal, the games involved teams competing across four events: cycling, climbing, canoeing and a tug of war. Prizes included a Wichelstowe Games trophy and meals / vouchers courtesy of Hall & Woodhouse, Waitrose & Partners, Swindon & District Canoe Club and Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.
The money raised will support the construction of a new slipway providing safe access into the water, near Beavans Bridge.
Tessa Lanstein is the Head of Projects and a member of the Executive Committee for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. She said: “We are sincerely grateful to the Event Team (Hall & Woodhouse, Waitrose & Partners, Wichelstowe Development Team, Swindon & District Canoe Club, WOLT and Fandangos Events) for choosing our charity as the first beneficiary of the inaugural Wichelstowe Games and we’re delighted it was such a success. The canal is already proving to be a major asset for the local community and this event has provided much needed funds to continue its restoration, ultimately providing a vital new source of employment, leisure and tourism, as well as a new wildlife corridor.”
Karl Drew, General Manager of Hall & Woodhouse pub, said: “We wanted to arrange a fun event to give something back to the local community and were delighted to support the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust at our first games. We’re lucky to have such a beautiful waterway on our doorstep and look forward to the day when the canal is fully restored, providing a new tourist attraction which will boost the local economy.”
The aim of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to restore the waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, connecting Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon & Wantage. Visit www.wbct.org.uk for more information.
Next year’s Wichelstowe Games will run on Sunday 14th June so keep up to date on the latest news at www.wichelstowe.co.uk