Three of Horsforth’s most famous sporting icons have been honoured in name at the first Brownlee-Stone Family Sports Day, which recently took place in Hall Park, Horsforth.
The event, which is hoped will become an annual occurrence in town, aims to build on the legacy created by the three Horsforth-based, medal-winning Olympians and provide a platform to encourage future generations of young Horsforth children to take part in, and be inspired by, sport.
Sport & Active Lifestyles officers in partnership with the North West Area Committee with support from Councillor Brian Cleasby , who part-organised the celebration, used cash from his council’s community fund to pay for the day, which involved children aged six to 13 from
every primary and junior school in Horsforth.
The event is named after Olympic triathlon medal-winning brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, who took gold and bronze respectively at London 2012, and Paralympic cyclist David Stone, who bagged two gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and another gold in London, as well as a bronze. All three athletes are based in Horsforth and have already had a building, The Brownlee-Stone Centre next to Horsforth library, named after them. Horsforth is the only ward in the entire
country with two gold post boxes for two different people. All manner of sporting clubs from the local area attended the event to either demonstrate their sport or to encourage participation in it, including versions of football, cricket, tennis, rugby, hockey, boxing, martial arts, netball and gymnastics.
The big event of the day was a Brownlees-inspired mini-triathlon for able-bodied and disabled participants. The event included a fun run and static cycling and then offered competitors free swimming tickets at Holt Park Active in order for them to complete all three of the athletic disciplines in a triathlon. The mini-triathlon challenged participants to reach a certain standard based on their age and ability. If a participant reached that standard, he or she was presented with a specially-commissioned Brownlee-Stone water bottle. More than 60 children took part in the triathlon and, following encouragement from onlookers and stewards, all achieved the standard required. Many adults with children younger than seven also attended the event and tried out many of the other sports on show.
Luckily, the weather stayed fine for the duration of the day, with the heavens opening only when the final event had finished.