gofest – a three day, family event held at the Surrey sports park. Pitched to me as a sporting Glastonbury. Given that I love festivals and I love keeping active it sounded great. In fact a friend even suggested it sounded like they had devised the event just for me….they did didn’t they? 😉
Tickets were available for the whole weekend or for single days. Evening entertainment was provided on Friday and Saturday night but not on Sunday when we attended.
We chose to attend just for the day, camping nearby to give us an early start.
The site was easy enough to find but parking, not so much. We’d been advised to park on the university campus and walk across. The campus being quite big and the signs having been up for the whole weekend were falling off and curling up. I still have no idea if we parked in the right place. Hopefully a parking ticket won’t arriving suggesting otherwise. It was then a quick walk across to the venue.
Surrey Sports park is truly inspiring in terms of its size and facilities on offer. A fantastic venue and we were keen to try some of the many activities on offer.
We’d prebooked online three activities each so while the boys headed off to Cricket, the rest of us went with the small person who wanted to try cheerleading. The session being run by Flair gymnastics.
Only nobody told her.
Having turned up to get her pom-Pom on and being expected to just know how to perform various tumbles and turns, which if you don’t do gymnastics -how do you know?
Being only five her bottom lip of course did start to eventually wobble, much to the surprise of the coaches.
‘What’s wrong with her?’
Err ‘ Well it’s not cheerleading for a start….’
Once I explained that her gymnastics experience was non existent a couple of the coaches did make a little extra effort to show her the ropes and she carried on like a trooper. We were also promised some cheerleading.
Half an hour into the session she was led into a different area and shown some cheerleading moves.
Five minutes later she was back and attempting gymnastics well beyond her capabilities.
She was repeatedly told she was getting it wrong but still she soldiered on. I was more than ready to whisk her away but it seems she has her mother’s stubbornness when it comes to a challenge.
The boys however were faring a bit better with cricket. Batting, fielding and bowling techniques were coached and my boy had lots of fun trying. Mr Muddy was less than impressed however when the coach leading the bowling instruction, delivered his instructions with the deftness of a speed bowler then nipped out for a coffee and failed to return.
Not a promising start to our day.
Thankfully I received a text announcing our friends had arrived. Did I want to get my Body Combat on?
Of course I did!
Mr muddy and the kids were keen to search out coffee and snacks whilst my friend and I unleashed our inner ninjas.
It may sound dramatic but a good dose of combat really does make me a better person. The stresses of life put to good use in an aggressive class. I turn up wild cat and leave fluffy kitten. Mr Muddy gets nervous when I miss a class 😉
Once fuelled the kids went to explore the trade stands. There was no hard sell, lots of games they could join in with and lots of freebies to be hoovered up.
‘Yes please I would love a frisbee. And a wrist band. And a pen. A stress ball too? Why not?!’
‘Yes, I absolutely need to have my photo taken posing as a spartan warrior.’
The brands had plenty of activities to appeal to children and kept them genuinely entertained.
Now that I had been restored to a calm fluffy kitten it was time for our booked climbing session. Held at the Surrey Summit.
The climbing wall is incredible. A truly great facility. I was blown away by the scale and energy of the place.
Once we had signed our lives away, we were kitted up in our harnesses and taken to our area of wall to conquer. Our instructor was great. Attentive and calm. With numerous children in our group all were treated with respect and patience. We were instructed on how to manage the rope system and trusted to look after each other under the ever watchful and experienced eye. If we needed help with something it was done in a flash.
We all had a blast, I did better than I expected. After a wobbly start my children soon got to grips with the wall and my friend’s daughter proved to be a natural who went flying up.
I often liken Mr Muddy to a monkey and after waiting impatiently for us all to have a go, he quickly ran out of wall and was most gutted to find a ceiling in his way.
For me coming back down was most fun. I’ve rappelled and abseiled before and really enjoyed it. It’s hard work going up but definitely fun coming back down.
I can’t praise highly enough the facilities and instruction in Surrey Summit, they truly are excellent. I really do wish we lived closer.
Time to refuel (Again – hard work that climbing!) we checked out the food offerings in the go chill area and whilst there were some tasty sounding offerings for me, the choice was a bit limited and so we checked out the Sports parks own facilities. It has its own Starbucks and sports bar so were able to be fed and caffeinated at once. Perfect.
I also had a sneaky peek at the local timetable for fitness classes ….😍 I think I need to move to Surrey!
For us after lunch it was Trampolining for the children – they loved it and one of them seems to be a bit of a natural, busting out some fantastic moves. Coaching was once again by flair but this time was really good. The children were well coached and supervised.
For our friends an action packed afternoon.
As competent, experienced gymnasts they attended a gymnastics session but had frustrations with the mixed ability of the group. The children quickly got bored and they found the coaches were chatting a lot. To each other. The mix of ages and experience levels seeming just too broad.
They then went Into the pool for an amazing afternoon of Scuba diving and Paddle boarding. They declared the facilities excellent and after a shaky start with an over subscribed class had an absolute blast in the pool. The Paddle boarding was stated as brilliant and was a definite highlight of their day.
A third friend and her family had also joined us for the day with their children of a variety of ages. A really sporty family they tried Cheerleading, Athletics, Hockey, Netball, Climbing, Dodgeball and Dancing. Sounds exhausting!
Their activities were greatly enjoyed and they found they were all really well organised and coaches welcoming.
One thing all of us found was the atmosphere was a bit lacking, attendance being quite low, the large campus was missing the buzz of excitement.
It did mean however that we got to do what we wanted to do with very limited waiting.
The GoFest events team themselves were all fantastic and were trying their upmost to inject some fun and sparkle into the day. Whenever we spoke to them they were all very friendly and helpful.
The team really were a credit to the event.
One of my friends entered with her family into the family dodgeball game and recalls the atmosphere was great, with all ages and abilities taking part, including staff and they really had great fun.
Hopefully next year word will get out about the fantastic facilities and experiences on offer and many more families will join in to make it the truly great event it is capable of being. For the opportunity to try so many different sports and activities all under one roof it really can’t be beaten.
With regards to the experiences and the facilities on offer it really was a fantastic family day out. The children had a brilliant time and already talk about going next year. Yes we would go again, even with the two hour drive to get there.
Disclosure rules and all that jazz I’ll point out that Myself, My family and friends were invited to attend the event as guests in exchange for an honest review of our experiences.