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Busy times here at Activ8, the coaches really enjoyed the half term holiday clubs lots of new faces and of course great to see regulars back for more fun too.
We are always very keen to join in with local events where charities and local business are concerned having helped out at the recent ‘Spring Fling’ event to raise money for Air ambulance over the last bank holiday weekend. A great event and well supported.
We also have two more events on the calendar too, the ‘Dragon Boat Race’ Sunday 21st June where coaches Dan and Nathan will be part of the Telford & Wrekin team to raise money for Severn hospice why not look at the event in more detail at http://tinyurl.com/ocvyvo3 or better still why not come and support Dan and Nathan on the day I am sure watching will raise a smile as well as cash for a great cause.
Our next event follows quite quickly, we will be taking part in the Shifnal Business Forum ‘Showcase’ event on the 4th July, the event will give us local small businesses the opportunity to show what we do in a very informal setting. The event will be very much on the lines of a market with the stalls comprising of an eclectic mix of local business…..so not your average market. Each stall will either be giving demos or have some fun elements games or quiz questions. Why not come and visit us we may have a couple of fun games for you to participate……nothing too difficult though so don’t worry!! Why not check out the Business Forum web site for more details at http://www.shifnal.org/
That brings us to mid July, by then of course we will be planning in earnest for the summer holiday clubs which will be just around the corner. If you have any games you want included in the holiday courses we would love to hear your ideas and you can contact us via our website or facebook and twitter pages, we would love your feedback.
We have talked previously about trying to shed the extra Christmas lbs or getting fit and healthy for the summer but some really scary statistics have been released by the World Health Organisation this week and they suggest that over the next 15 years or so that 74% of men and 64% of women will be either overweight or obese.
The statistics across Europe are very similar too, the trend shows that we eat more in general and move less and possibly participate less in active sport. How as a nation can we tackle this problem – some suggestions have been made that foods with high fat or sugar content should be taxed, in the hope it would encourage people to moderate their consumption of such high calorie foods……..the huge concern is that an obesity epidemic will put a terrific strain on the NHS and the solution could really be in our own hands.
This topic constantly pops up in the press with various views on more or less the same topic I guess we wanted to blog about it because we want better for our children. At Activ8 we recognise it’s not always easy to be fit and healthy all the time but we should always encourage our children to make the healthy food option and to get involved in some sort of physical exercise to set them on the right track which could help put a break on the epidemic. So with that in mind why not sign you children up for an after school club or book them in for a few days of multi sport or football over the half term break, it’s so good to see children having fun NOT sat in front of a PC or a games console.
Small change make the difference – have you made any small changes, if you have we would love to hear about them.
Are you like us in the activ8 office having really enjoyed our Easter break and over indulged by eating too much chocolate?? So we are now on the trying to focus on eating healthily and doing a bit more exercise….which is always so much easier said than done when everyone has such busy lives.
We are thinking that you don’t have to run a marathon, it can be the small changes that make all the difference, for example park the car on the far side of the car park when you shop so you have to walk those few extra steps, choose stairs every time not the escalator or lift and swap that spoon of sugar for low calorie option. Small changes can make all the difference so the experts tell us, if we can manage the small changes as well as being good for us we would hope to influence our children too.
We were really sad to hear about the recent death of Eloise Parry who lost her life through taking slimming tablets purchased over the internet. It’s really sad that anyone would feel the need to take slimming tablets but particularly when someone is so young. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and particularly her Mother who has spoken out so bravely following the very recent death of her daughter to warn others not to fall into this trap and how dangerous it is. The police have issued an urgent appeal to the public not to buy pharmaceuticals on line and we want to share their message to try and raise awareness.
Do you have any feedback or suggestions how to encourage small changes or how to discourage anyone from purchasing on line solutions – if you do we would love to hear from you.
We hope you all had a great Easter and managed to have a break and enjoy some of this lovely sunshine we have been having.
It has been a really busy couple of week for us over the school break, our coaches have really enjoyed organising all the football and games for everyone and it’s been great to see our regular customers along with new ones at all three of our venues and we hope to see you all again in just a very few short weeks for the Spring bank holiday break. There has been much talk in the press over recent weeks about children not getting enough outside play, we are happy to tell you that we have been able to provide that in abundance over the last two week which has been a real bonus for everyone.
All academies are back up and running next week as usual Monday 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm Newport Burton Borough – but watch this space for a change in venue soon….more details to follow. Dance class at Idsall sports centre on Wednesday 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm with new tunes and new moves….. and last but not least Saturday morning academy football at Idsall sports centre 9.30 am and 10.30 am. We look forward to seeing you there. Over the next couple of weeks we will be releasing the date of our charity football match and giving you the details of how you can participate and help other who are less fortunate.
If you attended one of our courses this week or last we would love to hear from you with your feedback.
You may remember we wrote a bolg a little while ago about change for life and sugar swaps, we hope you all signed up and got your information packs. In support of this we have come across a couple of articles this week with some really scary facts we thought we would share. Did you know that the highest reason for children being admitted to hospital is due to tooth decay…….now if any child has tooth decay to the extent they need hospital admission just think how much pain they must be in, and what can we do to ensure it does not happen to our children.
The research we read suggests that sugary drinks are a high contributory factor for child tooth decay and along with it sugary drinks have also been linked to obesity. With a little bit of fact finding we have established that a 200 ml glass of Coca Cola contains 5 teaspoons of sugar, so for one small glass its 80 calories!!. A high proportion of children’s fruit juice drinks also contain similar levels of sugar and in some cases even more……so how can we combat this?
We have a couple of simple suggestions…..always read the label that way you are clear about the calorie contents of any particular drink, the other would be swap the juice or fizzy drink for eating a piece of whole fruit, by eating the whole fruit you know there will be no added sugar and the fibre and vitamins within the fruit are good for you. Health professionals suggest diluting fruit juice with water or opt for a juice with no added sugar, we tried this and it’s just as nice.
At our after school clubs we sometimes play a game called fruit salad with our children when we play they are always keen to tell us what their particular favourite fruit is so don’t underestimate the value of fruit.This week when we played fruit salad one child said their favourite fruit was pears and the best part was the skin, he loved the skin……he then proceeded to ask how the skin grew and what was it made of!!
So what would your suggestion be to save some calories on your sugary drinks we would love to hear from you.
The snowdrops are out, the daffodils are starting to show their golden colour and we are in for a few warmer days, how nice and that must mean spring is well on the way hurrah!!
As you can see from the web site, facebook and twitter pages we have released the dates for the Easter courses at our 3 venues…..only 3 weeks away now……. so don’t delay and book today so you don’t miss out. Before we get to the Easter break most of us will be celebrating Mothers day saying thank you to all our hard working Moms…… and that got us to thinking here in the Activ8 office where does Mothers day come from.
After doing a bit of research we found out that celebration’s can be traced back to the Ancient Romans, I guess that’s no real surprise it was a spring festival called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele a mother goddess the history books say this was 250 years before Christ was born. The more recent Mothers Day celebration goes back to around 1600, in England this was when a ‘Mothering Sunday’ was celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent the celebration was by way of a prayer service in honour of the Virgin Mary and children would bring gifts of flowers to pay tribute to their own mothers. Mothers day is generally celebrated in either March or May in many countries UK, US, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Australia to name but a few and its become tradition to send cards, flowers and gifts as we know it’s a much more commercial affair now.
Our arts and crafts clubs have been very busy this week making gifts for mother’s day ……but don’t say I told you!! How ever you choose to celebrate we hope you enjoy. If you receive any hand made gifts or cards we would love you to send us pictures.
Well you did it everyone you got to the end of the half term break and hopefully you had a good time and your children managed to take part in one of our holiday club sessions. Everyone attending had a really good time….even the coaches!!
As we move on from Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and look ahead towards Easter the question is are you planning to use the lighter evenings to your advantage and try to get into shape for Spring and of course Summer or have you perhaps given up chocolate or some other treat for lent?……always easier said than done.
We have been talking in the office this week about what a good idea the park run events are because you don’t have to be an elite athlete to take part you can just challenge yourself each time you participate to try and improve on your own time, we may even register to take part over the summer……so watch this space….but why not take a look at the website yourself http://tinyurl.com/nevehmt Although the idea of being able to complete the park run is great, but if you have never run before and you are thinking I would love to but don’t know where to start or how do you go from zero to 5k its just too much of a challenge….well we did a bit of research here in the office and found there are some great programmes and suggestions to help you on your way check out http://tinyurl.com/kk6zf7w for some great suggestions that may help to get you started, NHS also have suggestions and more locally Wrekin Road Runners have a beginners page on their web site http://tinyurl.com/n42bz5n
We hope you can challenge yourself to summer fitness in some way and would love to hear your stories of how you achieve this and after all we need to be fit to keep up with our children (and or grandchildren).
Its half term already!! Where does the time go, your children have probably been winding down ready for the half term holiday next week and at this point quite excited for the break from School. If you have nothing planned for next week or even just want to fill a couple of days why not book some time at one of our school holiday clubs. There are three locations to choose from and we do have just a few spaces left so don’t delay…..book today our coaches have lots planned for next week.
You may be aware from our facebook and twitter pages that we have been short listed for an award in the ‘Best New Business for Children and Young People’ category of the ‘Business for Children Awards’ scheme. As you can imagine we are really proud to have achieved this. As part of the process we had a very nerve racking Wednesday this week when we met the judge for our category, we should not have worried quite so much as Gaynor was really nice putting us at ease very quickly and had some great tips for us as we chatted through our interview. As you can imagine we would really love to win this award but we are up against some really tough competition so at this point we would like to say good luck to everyone in our category and also a big thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way…..we could not have got here without you all.
Now if you have time over the half term break to try a little something different why not test this theory……. Do you want to try an egg with the yoke on the outside and the white in the middle!! A Japanese chef has come up with a method of making this happen and all you need is an egg, a pair of tights and a torch….how simple.
HOW TO MAKE AN INSIDE OUT EGG
What you’ll need: An egg, clear tape, a torch, a pair of tights and ice cubes.
- Check the colour of your egg with a torch
- Put tape around the whole shell of the egg
- Wrap it in the middle a pair of tights
- Spin it round for a few minutes by holding either end of the tights
- Check on the colour again. It should be darker than in step one
- Take the egg out of the tights and place it in boiling water with the tape still on
- Once boiled, remove the egg and place it in a bowl of ice for a minute
- Now peel the shell, and you should now have an inside out egg. If the whole thing is yellow, try it again but spin it for longer.
The full story is at http://tinyurl.com/kmyw4ng hope you find time to ready then try for yourselves, it made us smile we may even try for ourselves. Will you be trying this……don’t forget if you do we want to hear how you got on we love to hear your feedback and stories and really look forward to pictures of this one.
Currently at one of our schools we run some art and craft clubs which have proved to be very popular and when the timetables allows we try to remain topical and seasonal with each project we complete. This week we asked our children if any of them knew what 14th February was and surprisingly or not none of them know about St Valentines day so that made us think here in the office, actually what do we know about St Valentines day other than it’s all about cards, hearts, flower and in some cases expensive gifts.
Well a little bit of research we came up with some interesting info…..The history is a bit vague and clouded and there were actually at least 3 early Christian St Valentines. One a priest in Rome, a second a bishop in Terni and the third very little is known about except that he died in Africa and according to history each St Valentine was martyred on the 14th February. It was not until the 14th century that we start to see St Valentines’ day association with romance and love. It was Chaucer who first linked the day to romance in 1381 and composed a poem in honour of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia’. Over time this evolved by the 18th century according to medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly people were sending hand made cards laced with ribbon showing heats and cupids were exchanged along with flowers and confectionery.
Sending Valentines cards did not become tradition in America until much later around the 1850’s when Esther A. Howard began to mass produce them and this moves us much closer to the commercial celebration we have today where it’s estimated that 25% of all cards sent each year are actually valentines. We think hand made is still the best by far and can’t wait to see the hand made cards and picture’s at next weeks arts and crafts club what is your favourite hand made gift we would love to hear from you or maybe you could even sent us a picture.
As you probably already know if you attend one of our academies with your children, we have from day one tried to raise our children’s awareness about eating fruit. Each week we give them a fruit fact to go with the lovely juicy apples which are kindly supplied by Apley Estate each week (they go down very well too).
You may be interested to know that its ‘Bramley Apple Week 2nd – 8th February’, with a little bit of research we found that the Bramley is from Nottingham and its believed that Mary Ann Brailsford sowed the first pips in her garden between 1809 and 1813 and by 1837 the tree was bearing fruit. The ownership of the home changed in 1846 with the new owner becoming Matthew Bramley a local butcher. A local nurseryman called Henry Merryweather could see the commercial potential of the apple and asked to take cuttings from the tree and Mr Bramley agreed to this with the proviso the apples were named after him which is how we have the Bramley.
The apple went on to be widely grown and became a useful source of food during World War One and is now considered by many professional chefs to be the best apple for cooking. The question is how do you like to cook your Bramley’s? After some discussion in the office we decided that they would taste just perfect in a crumble or pie, really tasty winter comfort food……but then we remembered that we are really trying to be healthy and eating the apple is a great way to get one of your five a day so our ideas (to keep it healthy), how about a baked apple with a few sultanas and may be a teaspoon of honey or if you don’t have such a sweet tooth how about grated into a coleslaw, a side dish that goes so well with many different foods or even just chopped up as part of a salad.
I think this has to be our fruit fact for the week, now our question to you is how do you like your apples….we would love to hear from you with you ideas or maybe even your favourite recipe.
Since our return from the Christmas break time has just flown for us in the Activ8 office; a very good thing you might say for January!! So this weeks blog is all about what we have been busy organising. You will be very pleased to hear that we have been putting the finishing touches to our plans for the half term holidays, I am sure everyone is very aware that they are only 3 short weeks away!! We will be running our usual venues at Shifnal and Newport on Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th and Friday 20th February, the coaches have a long list of games ready for the action packed three days and looking forward to seeing you all there. Due to popular demand we have secured a 3rd venue for the full week 16th to the 20th February at Redhill primary school in Priorslee, Telford. We will as usual be running the early drop off and late pick up sessions at all of the venues which has proved to be a real help around working hours for parents during holidays.
Our Wednesday dance class at Idsall Sprots Centre has also got off to a great start only two weeks in and most of the spaces have been filled & the dance routines are looking very polished already, so well done to everyone taking part. Over last weekend we also entertained almost 50 children at two football parties, both parents and children enjoyed…. so if you are stuck for a party idea and want to take some of the stress out for yourselves look no further we can help you there.
The details of all our recent and up and coming events are on the website, facebook and twitter pages so please take a look and if you want to book a place for half term don’t delay give us a call or book via the website…..and remember if you have a TLC card and present it to us you will get a 20% discount.
I think we really have to start this weeks blog by saying congratulations to Stephanie Roche for her award, it you remember we talked about her amazing goal in one of our first blogs and this week she got the award for the second best goal a the FIFA Puska awards on Tuesday evening ahead of so many of the world cup goals…..and that was the first time a woman has won the award well done to Stephanie and brilliant for woman’s football.
Its definitely a week for great achievement with Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s 19 day climb, the first free ascent of Yosemite’s Dawn Wall at the parks El Capitan. You can see some really amazing pictures if you go to http://tinyurl.com/ns7oqpy Some of the climbing experts said this could not be done, the pictures and video shows just how amazingly courageous they where and what climbing skills they have to accomplished such a feat, well worth 5 minutes of your time to watch.
If you are at all like us here in the activ8 office we are in awe of both of these achievements’ but for now in January what we really want to do is be fit and probably a bit more health conscious. There is a really interesting article on the BBC News website today that says that some University of Cambridge research has found that about 676,000 deaths each year are down to inactivity, compared to 337,000 carrying too much weight. The research concluded that getting everyone to do at least 20 minutes brisk walking each day would have substantial benefits. The study also suggested that changes are needed to make exercise easier to participate. I think most of us would agree with that, not everyone is a fan of the gym or playing competitive sport but what we could do instead would be to walk to work or school everyday and walking to school would be good for the children too. You might say ‘a step in the right direction!’
How are you going to move more this week or and are you going to try some new exercise to make you move more? We would love to hear you thoughts and ideas on this.
Welcome to our first blog of 2015 we hope you have a great Christmas and New Year break.
Hands up if you are like us in the Activ8 office and have over indulged a little over the Christmas period…….so we are back to healthy eating and exercise for January 2015.
The news and social media is full of tips on the best way to shed the lbs over the coming weeks which may well include some of the fad diets that have popped up over the years. There is a list of the top ‘fad’ diets on the Sky news web site which includes diets such as ‘Dukan Diet’, ‘Alkalline Diet’, ‘Raw Food Diet’ none of which we had heard of!! The list also includes the much talked about ‘Atkins Diet’ and the more recently publicized 5:2 diet which Dr Michael Mosley has written about and he himself supports and follows. We are pretty sure that most of us have tried some sort of diet for a quick fix at one time or another.
Over all the articles we have read so far or we prefer the change for life approach, there is a great website https://sugarswaps.change4life.co.uk/ you can log into which is currently talking about sugar swaps, suggesting sensible swaps such as sugary cereal for a plain variety, sugary drinks for water or sugar free squash, heavy puddings for fruit and yoghurt etc. We like this approach especially where our children are concerned; it’s an easy way to follow what your eating and gets our children into good eating habits. If you sign up currently you can get a free sugar swap guide that will tell you how many spoons of sugar you can save. Small changes get us all into good eating habits and of course children can attend our sports clubs to get their exercise for the all round health approach.
Whichever approach works for you we hope you reach your goal and we would love to hear how you reached it.
Happy New Year to you all from Activ8
We hope you are all getting that festive feeling as the day’s clock down and Christmas day draws nearer.
Here in the Activ8 office we have had a great week planning the fun and games for the football party on Saturday afternoon and sorting out the running order for the activities day on Monday, if your space is not booked already you need to call we can only squeeze in a couple more children and we don’t want you to be the one missing out. Our job for today has been to sort out the goody bags ready for all both Saturday and Monday and to wrap all the gifts……we are even hopeful that the man in the red suit will make a guest appearance.
After the Christmas break we will have a very busy schedule starting in January. Shifnal Academy will start up again on Saturday 3rd January 2015….. we know that sounds a long way off but it will be hear before we know and Newport academy will have their first session on Monday the 5th January, the coaches will be looking forward to hearing all about your Christmas festivities too. We are also really excited to announce that we will be stating dance sessions at Idsall Sport hall on Wednesday 14th January at 5.00 pm and Steff is really looking forward to teaching you all some new moves.
As this will be our last blog for this year we wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken time to meet with us, support us, help us or advise us since our first day of business on the 1st September the weeks have just flown but we could not have achieved what we have to date without all of you so many thanks to you all.
Happy Christmas to you all from the Activ8 team and we hope you have a happy healthy new year.
I am sure you avid football fans out there will already have in mind what is for you the goal of the year and you may even be intending to vote ……but before you vote take a look at Stephanie Roche’s goal from October last year it’s a brilliant goal and well worth watching (and can be found very easily on you tube). Stephanie’s stunning volley has been nominated for Fifa’s Puskas award for the best goal of the year and she is up against the likes of Diego Costa, Robin van Persie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Stephanie gets a big congratulation’s from all of us at Activ8, I am sure you will all agree when you have seen the goal. The goal was scored by the 25 year old while playing for the Irish team Peamount United against Wexford Youths last year. Stephanie has now moved on to play for a French team and we only got to see the goal because her manager uploaded the video footage to You tube, when the match was played the goal was watched by a crowd of just under 100 spectators and now has been watched by over 3 million people.
The volley, or three touch wonder as the press headlines called it will be up against world cups goals from stars such as James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie and if she were to win Stephanie would be the first female to win this prestigious award…..how great would that be for Women’s football. Despite having her goal ranked along with some of the best world cup goals this years Stephanie does not make the women’s player of the year shortlist, just shows you how good things are in women’s football currently.
Let’s wait and see just who the award goes to …..we don’t have to wait too much longer either as the awards will be held in Zurich on the 12th January 2015. The first correct guess we get from you guys will win a free academy session at either Shifnal or Newport so let us have your guess.
I think we would all probably agree that this is a really expensive time of the year particularly if you have children, we have just taken a quick peak at Hamleys top 10 toys for Christmas 2014 and yes for most of them you will need deep pockets. Here in the Activ8 office we have been talking about what we consider some of the simpler less expensive options, which got us to talking about books and films. As a child there is nothing better than having a grown up reading stories (and doing all the voices!!) or sitting watching a family film together.
Those of us in the office have decided our favourite Christmas film/book is the Grinch (written by Dr Seuss) the film has something for both children and adults, I think as an adult we can relate to the Grinch being grumpy and for children the Grinch does have a roller coaster ride helped by Max all the way to a happy ending. When checking on Amazon we found versions of the book and the DVD started at around £3.00 each, what a good investment.
Our Christmas options for you are quite simple too, gift vouchers starting at just £3.00 or maybe you want to sign your son or daughter up for our Christmas football party on Saturday the 20th December for a fun afternoon at just £7.00 or a full day of activity at our Christmas holiday clubs on the 22nd and 23rd December (Shifnal 22nd Dec and Newport 22nd & 23rd) at just £12.50 for the day if offers great value and the opportunity to expend some of the Christmas high spirits which are likely to be around. We would love to see you there so keep an eye on the web site for further detail or give us a call in the office.
What is your favourite Christmas book, film or activity we would love to here from you?
Party football and holiday course fun. Have your children started to make Christmas lists yet and have they started to get excited as the Christmas countdown begins??…we have!!
As parents at this time of year I am sure you will agree there are never enough hours in a day and however much your promise yourselves your will be ready for Christmas there is always so much to do, Christmas gallops towards you and the shopping day just melt away. On top of all of that you have very excited children to deal with.
We love Christmas time here in the Activ8 office and we have been trying to think of ways that might help reduce your stress in the last few days running up to Christmas so we have decided to run our very own ‘Football Christmas Party’ on Saturday 20th December. Our party will evolve around fun and games with a Christmas theme and each child receiving a Christmas goody bag to take home at the end of the party and they will have run off their excess energy for the day too. Detail and the times will be released shortly so keep watching the website and social media as spaces will be limited and you will need to book in advance.
I am sure you will be pleased to know that we will also be running two short holiday clubs this year, this might just give you that extra day or two you need to finish off your Christmas preparations. There will be a full day at our Shifnal venue on the 22nd December and two days at our Newport venue 22nd and 23rd December so don’t delay book as soon as possible, we could only slot 3 days of activities in over the Christmas period so book your place to avoid disappointment.
Hopefully we have offered some enjoyable options for your children (who we are sure will be very excited by 20th December) in the run up to Christmas and some time for you to cook, shop, write cards and wrap presents and maybe even distress just a little before the big event.
We would love to here from you.
As Bonfire night is now well behind us I am sure all of our thoughts are now turning towards Christmas and maybe Christmas shopping!!
What to buy children is always a challenge there is such a wide range of choice and more and more of the choice being game console related or pc online gaming………this is all very well but do you worry about your children not getting exercise or to run around and participate in some form of sport…… are they becoming couch potatoes? Having discussed this in the Activ8 office we generally feel that children in tend to spend more time in front of games consoles then they did maybe 10 or 15 years ago so we did a little bit of research and found some quite shocking statistics.
Public Health England web site states that figures from 2013/14 show that children of reception age 4/5 years old, 9.3% were obese and 13% were overweight. And by the time children reached year 6 (10/11 years) 18.9% were obese and a further 14.4% were over weight. I am sure you will agree these are really scary statistics and have all sorts of health implications for our children and then on into adult life…..so lets get moving sooner rather than later to stop this trend.
In the Activ8 office we have been trying to think of ways to encourage children back into physical activity, which most children do enjoy once they are engaged in the right activity for them. So here is a thought, for a Christmas present why not buy one of our gift vouchers because all of our sessions are activity based even our parties.
We are selling gift vouchers in denominations of £3, £5, and £10 ideal for Grandparents or Aunties and Uncles who do not know what to buy with the £3 voucher being an ideal stocking filler. You can contact us via all the usual routes or give as a call in the office, we would love to hear your views on this, do you have any good ideas on how to get our children moving in a fun way?
We hope you all had an enjoyable Halloween and a fun and safe Bonfire night. With these events behind us here in the activ8 office our thoughts are starting to turn to Christmas which really is not too far away now.
Our question to you this week is what plays a big part in your run up to Christmas? After some thought and discussion on this topic we decided that in the run up to Christmas for us music plays a big part. Wherever you go shopping there are always Christmas songs playing, if you are out socialising its most likely there will be music in the back ground and if you are out for a party night there will most certainly be music to get you in the party mood and maybe even dancing.
So with that in mind we discussed our favourite Christmas songs and for us ‘Driving home for Christmas’ by Chris Rea is high up on the list, being released in 1988 but only reaching number 53 in the charts, re entering in 2007 reaching number 33 and then in 2011 getting up to number 27! So I guess this song has stood the test of time and appeals to a whole new generation of music fans which is just great.
Over more recent years we have not had the more traditional ‘Christmas’ songs reaching number one, do your remember last years number one? It was Sam Bailey (of X Factor fame) with Sky Scraper and Pharrell Williams was number two with Happy…..not a snow flake in sight.
We would like to hear from you what is you favourite Christmas song and can you predict what will be this years number one…….send us you thoughts on this years Christmas number one, the first person who correctly predicts this years number song will win a free week academy slot, so the challenge is on.
Do you take part in Halloween dressing up and going door to door? Do you like the spooky, scary evening? There is so much in the shops now for you to buy either dress, decorate your home or sweets to give your trick or treat callers.
This all got us to thinking why do we go door to door and why do we trick or treat……and after a morning of very interesting reading we thought we would share some of the findings thanks to our research.
Halloween is ‘All Hallows Eve’ celebrated on the 31st October in a number of countries and in the Church calendar it’s a time for remembering the dead including Saints with the word ‘Halloween’ dating back to around 1745 coming from a Scottish term ‘hallowed evening’ the day before ‘All Hallows Day’
In the 19th century in Ireland candles would be lit and prayers offered for the souls of the dead and after that eating, drinking and games would begin……its all starting to make sense now!! In both Ireland and Scotland the games included ‘mumming’ which loosely describes a performance of some sort, maybe a rhyme or song and this would take place in the street or door to door in costume and by the 20th century wearing costume had spread to England.
‘Trick’ of the trick or treat comes in for many of the stories if people were unreceptive or unwelcome to the entertainment as its suggested some sort of mischief will befall the household or property.
One of the reports also suggested a custom that dates back to the 15th century of baking soul cakes, this is were children usually of a poor background would go door to door, sing and say a prayer for the dead souls and then collect a soul cake which was a small cake filled with things such as allspice, cinnamon, ginger and sometimes sweeter treats like currents and raisins; its suggested this could have been an early form of trick or treating.
There were so many different variations between regions and countries, places like Italy, Austria, France and Belgium all celebrate in similar ways too.
Do you love or hate Halloween and do you have any stories you want to share with us…..we would love to hear from you and guess what our favourite game will be – apple bobbing!!
Where do we get our inspiration from? You can quite regularly see individuals setting themselves huge challenges in the name of charity; the most recent that springs to mind is 53 marathons in 53 days, what a fantastic achievement that was and great for charity too, it’s a feat that should certainly be admired. While it’s not something all of us can do it probably does inspire us to try that bit harder at whatever the task to hand is.
Here at Activ8 we want to give a shout out to two friends who have set themselves a target of running two marathons each in the space of 6 weeks, 3 of which are now done and dusted. Chester, Wolverhampton and Bournemouth with the 4th due on the 25th October, Snowdonia Marathon no less. This is reputedly the toughest marathon in Europe!! so good luck for the 25th all of which is in the name of charity so I am sure that has made training worth while. It has certainly inspired us to work just that bit harder each day in the gym on the treadmill and persuaded us not to eat that biscuit with a cuppa!!
There is something quite refreshing looking at the world from a child’s perspective and we have to say this has been a great inspiration to us on a much more basic level. One of our youngest academy members runs his little legs off each week and understandably towards the end of the session his energy starts to wane – so he goes back to his Mom or Dad to have a top up of (Mario) ‘Super Powers’ he receives his powers just by touching thier hand and as if by magic his energy is topped up again; do you know what, it works because he zips up and down the sports hall again. It really is lovely to see and makes us and the other parents smile every time. In return we would like to send you your Mario top up of ‘Super Powers’ so that you can zip next week into touch or any other difficult task you have to complete.
What’s inspired you this week? Let us know we would love to hear your stories.
I’m sure you know by now that we are a new business and have been up and running since the 1st September this year.
Although its been a relatively short period of time we have already been lucky enough to meet some really nice people from an array of different backgrounds. Some have been very generous with their time and knowledge whilst others have helped us with their products and goods, so at this point in time we feel very privileged and grateful and want to say thank you to you all.
Now a question for you, have we got this right or wrong at Activ8. We feel that girl’s should have the opportunity to play football just as much as boys. Over recent times girls and woman’s football has become a higher profile sport and quite rightly so if you look at players such as Beth Mead who is 19 (Sunderland Ladies) she has scored 66 goals in 68 appearance…brilliant. So with that in mind we have been trying to set up an all girls weekly academy session. Do you girls out there want your own session? We would love to hear your thoughts on this, are budding Beth’s out there who want to show the boys how its done?
We recently asked our academy players – Does an apple a day keep the Doctor away? Well the research suggests that’s not the case but it is a nutritional, healthy snack. Matthew form our Shifnal academy want away and did some research of his own and found out that there are over 7,500 varieties of apples!!! Wow and thanks for the info Matthew.