A weekend of sports and olympic heroes – GoFest 2016

James and family head for a fun filled weekend of sport and activities at the 2016 GoFest festival in Guildford, Surrey.

This was our second year at GoFest, held at the Surrey Sports Park and we were all eager to return to try new sports and get coaching from some of the UK’s leading athletes.

We had pre-booked our activities ahead of coming to the event which was held over three days this year. It was great to be able to head for GoFest knowing that we would be definitely able to take part in some of the most popular events.

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In addition to the ticket price it’s £10 to park in the official on site car parks and although this is good value for near to the site and security we felt with local knowledge that we could find another location nearby and save some money.

GoFest is well laid out with lots of different areas, a main running track and the Chelsea football academy at the heart of the park. We decided to go straight for the Tennis coaching and both our young girls (aged three and seven) loved learning the basics of the game, getting one-on-one coaching and our eldest is really keen to keep up her tennis practice which is one of the best parts of the festival – the chance to try out sports and see whether you want to take it forward.

In the indoor sports arena we discovered a whole range of timetabled activities for all ages, which meant that young and old were able to get a session which really suited everyone.

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The Chelsea coaching was particularly good with the children registered at a main tent, allowing parents to have the opportunity to leave their children in the safe hands of the experienced coaches. At the end of the training all children were given Chelsea football tops which made the experience even more memorable.

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After a strenuous morning of activities we headed to the main stage area to have lunch. On the Saturday we purchased a burger, coleslaw and a drink which cost £8 per person. The food was good quality but we would also recommend bringing your own picnic – there’s with ample space and tables provided too – It’s a far more cost-effective option which we took on the Sunday.

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The main area surrounding the stage was filled with local sports and health food businesses offering prizes, mini games and registrations for clubs and sports centres. This allowed us to see and experience what is available locally.

GoFest was great for our children and for us too, with my wife and I also getting involved. My wife jumped at the chance to do gymnastics (which she hadn’t tried in years!) and she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity. I entered the pool for water polo which was great although one downside was that no children under the age of 8 could do any pool activity this year. We were a little upset with this as both are daughters are keen swimmers and would have loved to have taken advantage of such an exceptional facility.

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There were a whole host of activities available to try out over the weekend including Tennis, athletics with Roger Black, gymnastics, trampoline, football and Rock climbing. The highlight for myself was watching my seven-year-old daughter train with Olympic badminton athlete Gail Emms. Within thirty minutes they were having a serious rally and my daughter in her own words had made a “new best friend!”

GoFest 2016 was a fantastic event which has clearly evolved from last year. We can’t wait to see what next year’s festival will bring and trying out many more new sports.

You can find out more about GoFest at their website.

James and family were guests of GoFest for the purposes of this review, but their views are independent.

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