“Would you like to review the Sky Sports Studios Summer of Sport at the O2?” we were asked. Erm, now let me think for a second before I bite your hand off…
The Sealion Keeper is still full of Olympic Legacy – she loved watching the Commonwealth Games, she loves watching pretty much any other Olympic sport and still has in the back of her mind that she might like to be in the ladies golf team at some point (she needs to keep her head still on her swing otherwise she’s going nowhere!). She loves being in London, travelling on the Underground and is absorbing a ridiculous number of London facts that should keep her going in pub quizzes for many years to come.
The Cheetah Keeper loves his football, an afternoon snuggled up watching Formula 1 and his golf – to the extent that he will listen to golf on the radio (it’s an interesting concept…). He is equally obsessed with the Underground at the moment (that and Monopoly) and will sit in the bath/car/bed for hours answering ‘name an Underground station beginning with …’ questions.
The Sky Sports Studios event ticked all the boxes – trains, the O2, sport and has the added bonus of being free. As the Cheetah Keeper would say, “Get In” (with a small but prominent fist pump).
Aimed at children over 6 (although I’d say over 7 would be better) the Summer of Sport Experience gives you and your children the opportunity to try out all sorts of sports, with, in most cases, a little bit of help along the way – be that from a ‘real life’ expert or some technology. There are also plenty of opportunities for photos (with some green screen magic), the chance to read the headlines from a news desk and to download the evidence once you’re home using cards with a unique QR code.
We’d been told that there was probably about an hour of entertainment once we were there. However, it was quiet so the children got pretty much as long as they liked on each activity. Staff were on hand to help set machines, play as the opposition on the PlayStation game (due to my hopeless FIFA14 skillz) and to generally encourage. Admittedly some of them knew that we were there to review and were particularly attentive (although not in an overbearing way) – others were not quite as, erm, bouncy. The golf professionals were excellent – it must be a hard job working with such a huge variety of abilities (and perceived abilities!) and ages – my two certainly picked up a few good tips and had their bad habits pointed out!
I think the main thing that made our experience there so enjoyable (and we were there for well over 2 hours) was that everything was working. There was a bit of a ‘make do and mend’ mentality as wires were juggled and bike seats wedged into place, but we could go on everything. (I’d just like to say that I scored 58 in the Batack game in 60 seconds which I don’t think is too shabby for a first time attempt for someone with no coordination and that my time on the bike was so appalling I’m not going to mention it but those bike seats are not made for ladies, at all).
The Sky Sports Studios Summer of Sport runs daily until September 28th 2014 and for a free, fun morning or afternoon of entertainment for sports loving families we would highly recommend it. Take a drink with you (there are plenty of restaurants, shops and cafes around the O2 but sprint cycling is hot work!) and be prepared to get involved – this is definitely a hands-on experience if you want to make the most of it.
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