Competitors from across the UK are being invited to make a splash at the inaugural World Puddle Jumping Championships, being held at Wicksteed Park, the home of children’s play, this autumn.
The Kettering park was founded by Charles Wicksteed, who invented the modern day slide and swing, as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families’ health and well-being.
The event is part of the park’s drive to continue that legacy by encouraging children – and adults – to get out into the fresh air and have fun.
A special series of championship-standard puddles are being created at the park, and competitors in age groups ranging from toddlers to young at heart pensioners will be encouraged to jump in and make a splash, with the competition starting at 11am.
Judges will give scores based on things such as height of jump, enthusiasm, distance of splash and stickability (the amount of mud which clings to each competitor).
Now the hunt is on for expert judges to help find the first ever world champion.
The event is part of an action-packed programme of new activities at the home of children’s play aimed at engaging even more people in its fantastic heritage and natural beauty.
It will be held as part of the park’s autumn Play Day on Wednesday October 30, which will also include other free activities such as mud pits, kite flying, welly wanging, a leaf mountain and arts and crafts.
Wicksteed Park Managing Director Alasdair McNee said: “Charles Wicksteed was a very successful businessman who decided to give something back to the community by encouraging them to lead a healthier lifestyle.
“That ethos applies just as much today and one of the main focuses of the park is to encourage children and families to get out and enjoy traditional ways of having good, old fashioned fun.
“We think puddle jumping and the Play Day event is a great way to do that.
“Many children are familiar with puddle jumping through the TV cartoon Peppa Pig but this is their chance to have a go for themselves.
“But as this is a new event there is understanbly a shortage of recognised expert judges. Our judges could range from boot makers to anyone who can show they have a degree of expertise in what is going to be a great fun event.”
The event follows on from the park’s participation in national Playday in August, when more than 1,000 people took their teddy bears to the park and came close to breaking the world record for a teddy bear chain.
Wicksteed Park is currently undergoing a £2million lake restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to further encourage people to enjoy its 147 acres of countryside.
In his 1928 book, A Plea for Children’s Recreation after School Hours and after School Age, Charles Wicksteed outline his ethos when he: “I have good reason to believe that the park I have formed has changed the lives for the better, to a greater or lesser extent of thousands of children.
“I have direct evidence from mothers how whining, pale-faced children, complaining of any food they get, have come back with healthy faces and rosy complexions, ready to eat the house out after a good play in the playground.”
The beautiful country park, one of the oldest in the UK, combines a wide range of attractions for all ages with the largest free playground in Europe.
The popular visitor attraction combines rollercoasters, rides and attractions with the tranquility and relaxation of an historic grade II country park and a nature reserve run by the Wildlife Trust.
To enter the World Puddle Jumping Championships or apply to be a judge, contact email@example.com or telephone 01536 512475.
Issued on behalf of Wicksteed Park
For further information, please contact:
Andrew Turner – Andrew Turner Public Relations