Ambleside Sports will not go ahead this summer due to uncertainty around the lifting of Covid restrictions.
The biggest and oldest of the traditional Lakeland sporting events, the Ambleside Sports is usually held on the last Thursday of July and attracts crowds of thousands. It was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.
The organising committee had hoped to stage an event of some sort this summer, but they have decided with deep regret to abandon this year’s plans and put all their efforts into making the 2022 event the biggest and best ever.
“It is with really heavy hearts that we reached this decision,” said president Mr Jak Hirst. “We are all bitterly disappointed, and we know that our competitors in the many arenas, and our trading partners, will be disappointed too. But there is still too much uncertainty about what the summer holds, and it is a burden too great for a group of volunteers.”
The committee made their decision after considering many health and safety issues, including any continuing requirement for social distancing which might be announced, the enormous task of tracking and tracing many thousands of potential visitors, and the need for many extra volunteers to keep people moving safely through the gates and around the showfield.
They also learned that nearly all the local shows, all of them smaller and potentially more manageable than Ambleside, due to be held before the end of July, had already been called off.
“It is a question of reality outweighing the heartstrings,” said committee member Robin Dean. “We desperately wanted to put on an event to raise spirits and allow people to have some fun after the awfulness of the pandemic, but it’s just too soon for us to be sure that we could stage a perfectly safe event which was also enjoyable.”
The organising team are now hoping that new volunteers will step forward to join the committee and plan for next year’s event. The Sports includes wrestling, track cycling, hound trailing, track running and fell-running, and always features a very popular children’s sports competition.