8 August 2017
It’s Thursday 3rd of August and over 2,100 excited children are descending on Cardiff’s Principality Stadium for the annual StreetGames Multi-Sport Festival, part of the Fit and Fed project, which is supported by FareShare. Fit and Fed offers free sports sessions to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, along with a free, nutritious, healthy meal. The Multi-Sport Festival gives children the chance to try up to 40 different sports and activities, as well as making some incredible memories.
StreetGames CEO Jane Ashworth tells us that this summer, because of ever tightening family budgets, lots of children won’t get to go away on holiday, or even out for a day trip. “For many, this event is the highlight of their holidays,” she says.
As you can imagine, anything that involves 2,100 ten-to-sixteen-year-olds isn’t going to be quiet – and, as you approach the stadium, the first thing that hits you is the noise. Inside, the stadium is crammed with children queuing up to have a go at everything from rock-climbing and zorb football to trampolining and Segway riding to boxing, table tennis and rugby.
Fit and Fed isn’t just about introducing children to sport – it’s also about tackling holiday hunger – a real and pressing problem. Research shows 73% of the poorest families report a constant struggle to feed their children in the summer holidays. This year, FareShare is providing over 250 Fit and Fed projects with good quality surplus and donated food that has been specially selected to meet the children’s nutritional needs.
Organiser David explains that many of the children will arrive without having had any breakfast – which is why the food zone, just to the right of the busy stadium concourse, is so vital. Behind their trestle tables the volunteers are hard at work, preparing sandwiches and wraps, and handing out juice boxes, water and cereal bars.
“It’s delicious!” says eight-year-old Shaun, holding up a cheese and ham wrap. And it’s not just the food he’s a fan of. “The whole thing is great. I’ve tried new sports and the best was the skateboarding. It was fun, really fun.”