London 2012 Open Weekend: Science, Sport, Life Festival (Rocking Climbing, Archery, fencing) Ironbridge Gorge Museums @BlistsHill

Ever wanted to try rock climbing? Maybe see what it was like to have a go at archery?  Or wonder what it was like to wear a mask and fence?  Charlotte and I were able to do all that and more this weekend at Ironbridge Gorge Museums Science, Sport, Life Festival at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and ALL for free.  

The first activity Charlotte tried was rock climbing. She wasn’t too sure about this at first, but soon got the hang of it and was reaching the top of the fabulous portable rock climbing wall provided by Wolf Mountain. 

We then went inside Enguinity’s lecture hall to listen to an inspiring talk by Anna Turney, Paralympian Alpine Ski Racer.  She described her courageous career change from able-bodied snowboarder to Paralympic skier after being paralysed while snowboarding.  She is a true inspiration not just to athletes but to everyone.


Charlotte then had a fitness assessment which had her testing her balance by kneeling on an exercise ball.  Back outside, Charlotte was able to clock her running speed.  There were cones showing the length to run and camera’s at the end which provided a real-time reading of the time.  This was great fun and something the kids (and adults) really enjoyed doing.

Inside the Museum of Iron, there was a wonderful exhibition of local sports memorabilia. This was fascinating to see the strong presence of sports within the West Midlands and a wonderful representation of the Wenlock Olympian Society. 

Also inside was a brilliant activity that allowed you to race against Usain Bolt via the power of green-screen.  Charlotte had a go first then we both had a race against the speed-demon.  Happy to report, we won. J

Charlotte was desperate to do the Rock Climbing again and this time she was more successful and managed to reach the top several times.  She truly enjoyed this event – so much so that she has asked if she could look into taking classes for it. 

It was then my turn to have a go on an activity – fencing.  This is an activity that I have only seen on TV so was quite excited about having an opportunity to wear the mask and point the sword.  This was made even more thrilling by having a chance to learn this sport under the direction of skilled instructors. 

Our last event of the day was probably my favourite – Archery.  Again, this is an activity that Charlotte and I have never had the opportunity to participate in and having the chance to learn the sport with fabulous instructors was just brilliant. Charlotte and I were hitting our targets with ease after our instructors explained how to how hold the bow and guide the arrow ensuring you hold the bow with just three fingers.  This was really amazing as it was not a sport we would ever have attempted had it not been for the fabulous Science, Sport, Life Festival.

Another wonderful day learning new skills and getting inspired to do more for London 2012 (starting with a roll down the hill).

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