Colors: Yellow Color

With the summer holidays having just arrived, Great British Racing, the sport’s promotional body, has launched its biggest ever national under 18s campaign to encourage more families to take advantage of free entry for children and young people at racecourses across the country - including across the West Midlands.

It’s a little-known fact that under 18s go free to almost every British racecourse on almost every raceday, making a day at the races a unique family day out that won’t break the bank. There are more than 200 racedays up and down the country over the school holidays and amongst these are 58 special family days, with additional activities put on for families and young people.

There are a host of family racing events taking place in the West Midlands this summer, including the Big Summer BBQ Family Raceday at Uttoxeter Racecourse this Sunday 30 July, which will see entertainment including a Burton Albion shoot out, wildlife displays assault courses and inflatables alongside an afternoon of racing, as well as free entry for all accompanied under 18s.

Wolverhampton Racecourse also hosts the Caribbean Party Raceday on Monday 31 July, with authentic Caribbean recipes and traditions provided by Momma Bears Wings N Tings, music from a live steel pan band and more. Tickets start from just £11, with under 18s going free.

Additional fixtures across the West Midlands include:

• Family Fun Day, Wolverhampton Racecourse, Friday 11 September: Not only do under 18s go free to this action-packed raceday, but under 12s can even eat free in the racecourse’s Horizons Restaurant. Dudley Zoo will be joining the day, with extra entertainment including bouncy castles, face painting and more. • Family Fun Day, Worcester Racecourse, Sunday 3 September: The last of Worcester’s Family Fun Days, with entertainment including pony rides, mini quad bikes, bouncy castles and more, not to mention free entry for under 18s.

As part of the campaign, Great British Racing has also teamed up with leading presenter and DJ, Sara Cox, an avid racing fan who has ridden in several charity races herself and has enjoyed a lifelong love of horses. Sara has created a range of video content for the newly created StirrUpSummer.com, including a unique and entertaining Guide to the Races. StirrUpSummer.com allows visitors to find out where their nearest course is and what’s on, as well as enjoy a range of fun and engaging content, specially designed and created for families and young people.

Sara said: “Racing is such a brilliant day out and the fact that under 18s go free, not just during the summer holidays but throughout the year makes it even better.”

Further collaborations with prominent YouTube personality, Caspar Lee, and X factor stars Reggie ’n’ Bollie, have seen the launch of two competitions on StirrUpSummer.com created to directly appeal to young people and families. Caspar Lee has launched a competition for under 18s to design their own ‘horse trainer’ to be in with a chance to win a VIP day at the races, including a meet-up with the popular vlogger himself, whilst Reggie ’n’ Bollie have showcased their rap skills in a unique ‘Hip Clop’ video, challenging youngsters to put their commentary skills to the test for the chance to win an amazing set of prizes, including an iPad and virtual reality headset.

Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing said: “Racing is a box office hit of colour and excitement and is such a brilliant day out for all the family. With the summer holidays just around the corner and accompanied under 18s admitted for free, there is no better time to head to your local track.

“This is why we have launched our StirrUpSummer campaign and we are delighted to have such prominent personalities on board to help us encourage more young people and their families to head to the races.”

Leaders from the UK's biggest vending companies gathered to take part in the 37th annual Nestlé Professional® Hawkstone Golf Day.

Celebrated as one of the vending sector's premier networking event, more than 75 senior professionals came together to compete for the highly sought-after golfing title and to share business experiences and make new connections.

Victorious on the day was Team Gallagher, led by Steve Gallagher, Chairman of GEM Vending. Paul Howard, MD of Nebrak Limited, secured the individual high score at the event, with an impressive 66 points.

Rob Gormley, Head of Vending at Nestlé Professional®, commented at the event:

“We were absolutely delighted to again host our annual golf day at Hawkstone Park. It's a real highlight of the vending calendar and it was fantastic to welcome back familiar friends alongside some new faces for this year. The event brings together operators, wholesalers, machine manufacturers and support services to network, share knowledge and get involved in insightful discussion about the issues that matter to the vending industry. Not to mention some healthy competition with a few great rounds of golf!”

Steven Gallagher, Chairman at GEM Vending and captain of this year's winning team, said: “I've been attending the Hawkstone Golf Day since the very beginning, 37 years ago, and while I was delighted to lead the winning team this year, the real highlight for me, as ever, was the chance to spend time with so many industry friends. Our opposing team was captained by Brian Foster, who like me has been attending Hawkstone since the very first event in 1980, and we always enjoy meeting up to test our golfing skills and talk about developments in the industry.

“The event has become an institution and, as always, was superbly arranged by the Nestlé Professional® vending team. It boasts great golf on two wonderful courses, incredible food and entertainment, and the opportunity to make long-lasting contacts and friendships – who can ask for more?”

The Hawkstone Golf Day was founded by Nestlé Professional® in 1980 and was the first value-added networking event of its kind. Having evolved from a day of golf to a two-day family event, 2017 saw a host of additional activities, including lessons in golf, Segway and archery. This year's event also incorporated a warm and emotional farewell to Chris Starling, Business Account Manager, who retires from Nestlé Professional® at the end of June after 44 years' service.

Rob Gormley added: “Chris is a true stalwart of our industry. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of our colleagues and associates, and wish him well for the future.”

Team England’s boxers delivered champion performances throughout day six to ensure that Team England left the Bahamas victorious. A magnificent seven gold medals from seven boxing finals left the team as undisputed kings and queens of the boxing ring.

Eithan James’s split decision points win began a run of victories that never came to an end, and by the time the session came to a close, Georgia O’Connor had secured England’s seventh gold. “I don’t think there are any words in the English language to describe how I feel right now. I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was this big and as soon as I won I started crying, I thought it was a dream and someone would punch me out of it.

“I was really nervous beforehand and despite what people told me I knew this was an important fight and in the back of my head I knew it was for a gold medal, my first international gold so it took me a while to get into it but once I did that was it. It all happened so quick.” said O’Connor.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was Aaron Bowen’s debut international gold medal in an epic toe to toe encounter with Kane Tucker of Northern Ireland. Bowen said “It was a great fight to be part of, I’m proper happy with my performance. I enjoyed the whole lot. He started off well and thought I’ve got to put it on him here and up my work rate. I knew I was fit and that I could go the three rounds at that pace so I just gave it my all.”

The athletics team gave the whole Games the perfect finish by claiming a medal in the final race, the 4x400m mixed relay. Alex Botterill, gold medallist in yesterday’s 800m spoke of his pride at how the whole team had performed across the Games: “I think that we’ve come over to the Bahamas with a really strong team and performed well in every discipline. Getting medals across all the sports has been great and even people who haven’t won medals have put in some amazing personal best performances. The medal table doesn’t lie and we’ve been really lucky to be a part of it all.”

Indiana Spink took tennis bronze by a walkover to ensure that Team England won medals in all of the seven sports they competed in at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Spink was delighted with her success despite not taking to the court on finals day, with her opponent withdrawing ahead of the match. She said: “It feels really good, I’m really proud and my friends and family are really proud too and that means a lot. I’m really happy. The support has been amazing. I’m going to show my medal off to my mum as soon as I get home and she’s going to be so happy.”

Overall, Team England topped the medal table with 51 medals, beating the total of 44 won in Samoa two years ago. A number of junior athletes have already set their sights on the senior Games on the Gold Coast next year and their performances in the Bahamas will no doubt have given inspiration to their senior teammates.

With Wimbledon fever in the air there are many opportunities to play tennis in Sandwell. People can turn up and play at one of the many free to use tennis courts in Redhouse Park, West Bromwich, Brunswick Park and Hill Top Park, Wednesbury, Britannia Park and Haden Hill Park, Rowley, Victoria Park, Tipton, and Victoria Park, Smethwick.

People who don’t have a racket but still want to play can do so for free at sessions delivered by the council’s partners Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) at Brunswick Park every Sunday between 10am and 12pm.

To join in this session book online www.brunswickparktennis.co.uk or just turn up at Redhouse Park on a Wednesday for free family tennis between 6pm and 7:30pm.

Enthusiasts – children or adults - who want to improve their game can do so for just £2.50 a week at SLT coached sessions at Brunswick Park and Redhouse Park.

Those wanting to perfect volleys or ace serves can book on to the sessions by visiting www.tennisinsandwell.net and selecting the park you wish to attend.

Should the Great British Summer weather strike you can also move indoors. Places for People Leisure (PfP) offer mini tennis sessions aimed at children eight years and under at West Bromwich Leisure Centre at a cost of £18 per month. For more information visit www.placesforpeopleleisure.org.

Sandwell is also host to the Community Indoor Tennis Centre for the Black Country at Tipton Sports Academy. This excellent facility, operated by SLT, holds international competitions and offers you the opportunity to play on six top quality indoor tennis courts.

For the next seven weeks you can play on the same courts as the professionals for the reduced rate of £5 per hour from 9am till 12pm during the week and £10 per hour (or £7.50 for families with a junior) during the weekend.

Coaching is also available at Tipton Sports Academy for all ages and abilities, with their lead coach Craig Unitt recently being awarded the prestigious LTA award of Coach of the Year for the Midlands region.

Councillor Richard Marshall, cabinet member for leisure, said: “It’s great that Sandwell residents have the opportunity to play tennis all across the borough at a range of levels.

“Tennis is a great way to get active and to have fun as a family and Sandwell Council is committed to ensuring that our residents have opportunity to do so.”

A unique exhibition at upcoming Simmer Down Festival will unveil the prized possessions of a series of famous faces as they pledge their support to Prostate Cancer UK’s flagship Stronger Knowing More campaign.

The men’s health charity will be showcasing items of strength from the likes Birmingham-born former England centre-back, Joleon Lescott, former Wolves goalkeeper, Matt Murray, and the first ever Black player to play for England, Viv Anderson, in a bid to raise awareness of the increased risk of prostate cancer in Black men.

The exhibition, which coincides with Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month, will also showcase sentimental possessions from a number of men who have either been personally affected by prostate cancer, or family members who have lost loved ones to the disease in celebration of how Black communities have found the strength to face prostate cancer in their lives. Its aim is to get people talking about the most common cancer in men and taking action.

One in four Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and one in twelve will die from the disease. However, Prostate Cancer UK warns that over three quarters of Black men (86%) are oblivious to the heightened danger they face, leaving them susceptible to being diagnosed at a late stage when the disease has already spread to other parts of the body.

Lescott, who came through the ranks at Wolverhampton Wanderers and also represented Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion, played 26 times for his country and has donated one of those caps to the exhibition.

He said: “Hearing the statistic that one in four Black men will be affected by prostate cancer shocked me, and it’s something we need to step up and do something about.

I’ve seen managers wearing the charity’s pin badge and seen the great work the charity has been doing, and it’s brilliant to be able to donate something so personal to me and make such a positive statement.

This is a great initiative from Prostate Cancer UK and I’m proud to team up with them.”

Dubbed ‘the best goalkeeper England never had’ following his retirement through injury, ex-keeper Murray has donated his play-off winning shirt from the 3-0 win against Sheffield United at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in May 2003, which saw the Molineux men promoted to the top-flight for the first-time in 19 years.

He said: “Prostate cancer is not an issue to be taken lightly. Last year I walked alongside Soccer Saturday legend, Jeff Stelling, during his almighty walking challenge in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. I was also proud to walk with my good friend and Wolves club doctor, Matt Perry, who was treated for the disease in 2014. Along the way we met many others with similar experiences and listened to their stories of determination, strength and survivorship.

“I’m delighted to be supporting Stronger Knowing More and shining a light on a disease that is all too often swept under the carpet and ignored – especially in the Black community. I’m donating the shirt that I wore during the best performance of my career.”

Other celebrities donating items at this weekend include former England and Nottingham Forest defender, Viv Anderson, former Birmingham City captain, Michael Johnson, and former Charlton Athletic manager and England defender, Chris Powell, who spent playing and coaching spells in the East Midlands with Leicester City and Derby County.

Prostate Cancer UK’s Stronger Knowing More campaign aims to inspire black men to face their risk of prostate cancer by having the courage to talk to their doctor and spread the word, so that the disease is picked up earlier and treated in time. Celebrities that have already pledged their support include Benjamin Zephaniah, Linford Christie and David Haye.

Tony Wong, Prostate Cancer UK’s Men at Risk Programme Manager said: “As a Black man myself I am all too aware of the long-standing taboos that surround prostate cancer within our communities. Too many men continue to let pride get in the way of their health and it’s putting their lives at risk.

We’re calling on all men – especially Black men - to find the strength to overcome any embarrassment and find out about their prostate cancer risk.”

Prostate Cancer UK will be displaying its Stronger Knowing More exhibition at the Simmer Down Festival, in Handsworth Park, in Birmingham, on Sunday July 23. Specialist Nurses will be on hand to provide information to any men with questions or concerns about the disease.

 

Prince Harry has encouraged people to show their support for the world’s best Para Athletes when the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 come to London from 14 – 23 July.

In a joint appeal with Dave Henson, who last year won a Bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and has been selected to compete in this year’s World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, Prince Harry explains why people should buy tickets to this summer’s event.

Prince Harry says: “Buy your tickets, get down there, bring your family and friends and come down and support. Be there with everybody else, creating that atmosphere that’s going to be a life-changing moment for Dave and everyone else.”

Dave, who served with the Royal Engineers was injured in 2011 in Afghanistan when he stood on an IED, resulting in the loss of both his legs. It was during his rehabilitation that Dave found new passion for sport, which was a real catalyst for his recovery. He discovered a real talent for running at the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, where his Personal Best saw him comfortably into the world top ten. Since then, he has gone on to compete at the 2016 European Championships where he took home Silver before winning Bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Sharing his experience about watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games and how it helped him during his recovery, Dave explains: “I was still very early on in my recovery and rehab stage, it was a little bit of inspiration because it was suddenly an exposure to people absolutely smashing sport. I went to the Olympic Park a couple of time and it was just such an incredible atmosphere, everyone was so happy.

“I don’t have a World Championship medal, so to take one of those home would be just incredible. I’d love to come away from it with a World Championship medal around my neck. Spectators will see the world’s best para athletes compete in one of the world’s most iconic sports venues. Every single member of the GB team, every single athlete that has qualified is an incredible sportsperson.”

Last month, London 2017 Ltd announced record sales with more than 230,000 tickets sold for the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017. Sales are bigger than all of the previous eight editions of the championships combined and the biggest ever outside of a Paralympic Games. Organisers are urging more supporters to come and support the best para athletes in the world with their #FillTheStadium campaign to ensure as many supporters as possible pack the London Stadium at the event from 14-23 July.

The World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 kick off the Summer of World Athletics and the biggest sporting event in the world in 2017 with the IAAF World Championships following at the London Stadium from 4-13 August. For the first time ever both the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships are being held in the same city in the same summer. The summer of World Athletics is the biggest event to be staged at the London Stadium since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with 30 sessions scheduled across 20 days.