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, including a unique and entertaining Guide to the Races. 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 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.”

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.

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.


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.”

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 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 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

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.”

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.

Every athlete that wins a medal at the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 will be provided with an additional medal to gift to their coach, it has been confirmed today, with a week to go until the first night of the Championships.

In a milestone first for the World Para Athletics Championships, organisers, in coordination with World Para Athletics have confirmed that coaches of medal winning athletes will also receive medals in recognition of their unique and valued relationship.

The coaches medals, which are based upon similar themes to the athlete medals but differ in design, will be provided to successful athletes following their ceremony, where they will then be able to gift to their coach or significant advisor.

The athlete medals for the World Para Athletics Championships were revealed back in May and are inspired by the notion of ‘What makes an athlete tick?’. The possibility of creating a coaching medal was investigated by UK Athletics who form the LOC for the World Para Athletics Championships.

Paul Macgregor, coach to Paralympic T37 100m and 400m champion Georgina Hermitage, said: “As a coach your focus is on getting your athlete in the best place possible to be able to win medals at major championships. That moment on the podium is rightly theirs but it certainly is nice for athletes to have the opportunity to reward someone who has helped them get to that point. It is not something that has been put forward before and so it is going to be another thing that makes the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 so memorable.”

Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “I think London 2017 deserve great credit for introducing coaches medals for the first time to the World Para Athletics Championships. Coaches are the unsung heroes behind the scenes and it is fantastic that they will be rewarded for their efforts in coaching medal winning athletes.”

Niels de Vos, Championship Director, said: “As organisers it was important that we made provision for coaches medals for the World Para Athletics Championships. Our #FillTheStadium campaign is encouraging as many supporters to attend and this is another milestone moment for the event and something we are proud to announce with exactly one week to go to the Championships. Athletes deserve their time on the podium but coaches play such a vital role in getting them to that point, so we are pleased to be able to support the athlete to share that success.”

The World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, and the IAAF World Championships London 2017, are together the biggest sporting event in the world in 2017. The biggest event to be staged at the London Stadium since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – it is the first time both Championships have been held in the same city with over 3,000 athletes from over 200 nations competing over 20 days of action.

Major hit record selling American female vocal group, The Three Degrees, will be headlining at The Jam House Birmingham on 24th August.

The famous girl band are most renowned for their record ‘When Will I See You Again’, which was a major hit throughout the world, topping the chart in the USA, UK, Japan and most European countries. Prince Charles himself publicly acclaimed that The Three Degrees are his favourite group, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ as they were tagged. The group were particularly successful in the UK, achieving 12 Top 50 hit singles between 1974 and 1985.

 More than four decades on, the threesome retain their sparkling choreography and precise vocal quality, having amassed an impressive list of hit records since their first debut. Today, the line-up consists of Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott, and Freddie Pool. Valerie has been with the band since 1967, Helen since 1963 (having took a ten-year break in-between), and Freddie joined in 2011, replacing Cynthia Garrison. So it is, that after more than four decades of existence, The Three Degrees are the longest running female vocal group in history.

Their highly anticipated performance at the Jam House will see the return of hit favourites ‘Dirty Ol’ Man’, ‘TSOP’, ‘When Will I See You Again’, Year of Decision’, ‘Woman in Love’, and many, many more.

Helen Scott, Bandmember of The Three Degrees, comments: “We love the Jam House! The club lives up to its name, people really jam there. So much energy and the staff are always so friendly. I will tell you a little secret - we always get there early enough to have dinner!  A lot of venues don't have great food but the Jam House does.  And the sound is great - loud and in your face but a great atmosphere.”

Not since Gary Linaker, in 1986, has an England goal scoring icon, signed for the Spanish giants, but England international Toni Duggan's move to Barcelona from Manchester City Women is another developing chapter in her already stellar at club and international level.

It’s fair to say that not many transfers in the women’s game get so much news attention, but this one is ground-breaking. Not quite of Gareth Bale proportions but, nevertheless, immeasurable in what it could mean for women’s football in this country and the player herself.

The 25-year-old Liverpudlian first broke into the Everton in 2007 before helping City win their first Women's Super League One title in 2016 and the 2016-17 Women's FA Cup. In 2007, a 15-year–old Duggan came off the substitute's bench to score on her debut for England Under–17s.

A regular, at every level since, she was part of England's squad for the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada - coming third in the competition and securing the bronze medal.

"I’ve had a lot of success in England and I’ve really enjoyed my time with Manchester City but I wanted to challenge myself even further by playing abroad,” Toni said. “Barcelona is one of the world’s biggest clubs and I’ve totally bought into their philosophy. I’m also looking forward to learning Spanish and living in the city."

Duggan is not only the first English footballer to join Barcelona since Lineker 31 years ago, her move confirms a new era for the women’s game, one which will be dominated by the big names of the men’s game.

Ultra-endurance athlete Mark Beaumont has set off on his record breaking attempt to cycle around the world in just 80 days. In 2008 Mark successfully cycled around the world in 194 days, this time he will attempt to do it in less than half the time.

Inspired by Jules Verne's classic adventure novel Around the World in Eighty days published in 1873, Mark will attempt to circumnavigate the globe over 144 years later by bicycle rather than balloon as he embarks on the Artemis World Cycle.

Mark departed from Paris at 04:00 this morning, making his way towards Poland en route to Beijing through Lithuania, Russia, and Mongolia before cycling between Perth and Brisbane in Australia.

In New Zealand Mark will head for Invercargill and Auckland with the fourth leg of his challenge taking him between Anchorage in the United States and Halifax in Canada. He will attempt to complete his journey by cycling from Lisbon back to Paris with the aim of arriving by Thursday 21st September.

Mark comments: “This is my chance to shoot for the stars and take on the ultimate endurance cycling challenge. Since I last pedalled around the world nearly ten years ago, there has been a growing desire in me to push the boundaries of what is possible and to retake the circumnavigation World Record at a whole new level. I know what I'm getting myself in to, this will be the toughest challenge of my life and will be an immense physical, mental and logistical battle before I reach the finish line.

“I have spent the last three years creating an amazing support team, who are in charge of my nutrition, logistics, navigation and safety, allowing me to purely focus on my performance and being an athlete. I don't think anyone has ever tried to go this fast and this far before and I have been building on my experience as an endurance rider over two decades to prepare for this journey”.

72 young athletes, aged between 14-18, have been selected to represent Team England at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas.

The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will provide young athletes with a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience of a multi-sport competition to support their development.

A host of future stars will be heading to the Caribbean from 19-23 July 2017 competing in athletics, swimming, rugby 7s, beach volleyball, judo, boxing and tennis.

Notable young athletes in the squad include two-time national junior boxing champion Ivan Price, 2016 European Youth Championships Long Jump gold medallist Holly Mills and Beach Volleyball U20 British Champions Joaquin and Javier Bello, who will all have the opportunity to represent Team England for the first time.

They will follow in the footsteps of Team England and Olympic heroes Jessica Ennis-Hill, Beth Tweddle, James de Gale and Danny Care in representing England at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The 2017 Bahamas Games will feature up to 1300 athletes who will compete across nine sports for 94 medals including Judo and Beach Volleyball for the first time.

Sarah Winckless, Chef de Mission for Commonwealth Games England said:

“I’m delighted that we will be taking such a talented group of young athletes to the Commonwealth Youth Games. For many this will be their first experience of a multi-sport Games environment and a key milestone on their pathway.

“These young athletes represent the pride of England and I know everyone back home will be wishing them all the best for the competition.

“This is the largest team we’ve sent overseas to a Commonwealth Youth Games and for the team behind the team the Commonwealth Youth Games represents an important staging post on the road to the Gold Coast next year.”

The first Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Edinburgh in 2000 and Team England has taken part in all editions since. Bahamas 2017 will be the largest international sporting event ever hosted in The Bahamas, and the largest-ever edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The most recent Commonwealth Youth Games were in Samoa in 2015, when England came third in the medal table behind South Africa and Australia.

Young swimming sensation Layla Black, who claimed two gold medals at Samoa 2015 will get the chance to experience her second Commonwealth Youth Games, having been selected to represent Team England at this year’s edition.

Swimmer, Layla Black said:

“It feels great to have been selected for my second Commonwealth Youth Games. It fills me with a great sense of pride to have been chosen to represent my country again.

“I am looking forward to swimming fast, meeting new people and experiencing a new culture in the Bahamas.”

A fat-fighting football weight-loss scheme for men is appealing for new players.

The MAN V FAT scheme, funded by Sandwell Council’s public health team, is starting a new league at Hadley Stadium in Smethwick next month (July). The sessions will be on Monday nights, 7-9pm.

Every week men weigh in, play football in an organised team tournament and earn bonus goals if players in their team lose weight, rewarding them for scoring both footie and weight goals.

To date, 83 men taking part in the scheme at Portway Lifestyle Centre in Oldbury have lost 80 stone - the equivalent in weight of 80 FA cups - in just 12 weeks.

Men can also get nutrition advice as part of the scheme. After 14 weeks men can choose to stay on the league to continue to play football and keep the weight off.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection Councillor Elaine Costigan said: "This is a really fun, successful, appealing project to help men get fitter and shed the pounds.

“The results they’ve had so far are just incredible – I hope more men sign up for the new sessions and that they see the same great results.”

Wolverhampton’s WV Active leisure centres will be throwing open their doors for a day of free fitness activities this Super Saturday, 1 July.

Visitors are invited to drop into WV Active Aldersley, WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams and WV Active Central to take part in a packed schedule of fitness classes, swimming sessions and sports activities.

The free family event will see the official launch of a series of new High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) fitness classes including HIIT Blitz, HIIT Abs and HIIT Pulse at each of the City of Wolverhampton Council-run leisure centres.

WV Active Aldersley will be offering tennis, netball, athletics and cycling sessions, while Central and Bilston–Bert Williams will be holding swimming sessions.

Free mini health checks, including weight, height and blood pressure, will also be available at WV Active Aldersley and WV Active Bilston–Bert Williams on Super Saturday.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, said: “Super Saturday is a great opportunity for residents to see the leisure facilities that we have on offer, including the recently refurbished WV Active Central.

“I’d encourage people to make the most of this free event and try out some of the many activities available at our WV Active centres.”

Britain’s biggest stars of track and field will receive a huge send-off to the IAAF World Championships at the Müller Anniversary Games on 9 July.

The Müller Anniversary Games will also be the last chance for many of the world’s best athletes to compete ahead of this summer’s global athletics event in London from 4-13 August.

Eleven reigning Olympic champions including Sir Mo Farah, 24 Olympic silver and bronze medallists from Rio, and ten current world champions will take part in this year’s star-studded meet.

Former World and double European indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty, European 100m champion James Dasaolu and fellow sub-10 man Chijindu Ujah, will lead the charge for Britain in the men’s 100m.

While former European 200m champion Adam Gemili, who finished fourth in Rio last year, and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, the only two British men to have run sub-10 for 100m and sub-20 for 200m, will battle it out against a strong 200m field which also includes Britain’s Zharnel Hughes.

European indoor champion Andrew Pozzi has enjoyed a fantastic 2017 so far and will face a world class 110m hurdles field that includes world record holder Aries Merritt and the silver and bronze medallists from the Rio Olympics, Orlando Ortega and Dimitri Bascou.

Andrew Pozzi said: “We’re incredibly lucky. We have a home World Championships first and foremost, but to have the Müller Anniversary Games, it really is the biggest meet on the circuit.

“You look at the start list and every event is always absolutely packed, so it’s really good to have that in the calendar as the last major meet, because it gets everyone focused and ready and almost a taste of the home support before coming back to the World Championships.”

Double European 400m champion Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman) and 2014 European silver medallist Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley) will also go head-to-head in the men’s 400m.

The four members of the Olympic bronze medal winning 4x100m women’s relay team, Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie), Asha Philip (Steve Fudge), Daryll Neita (Jonas Dodoo) and Desiree Henry (Rana Reider), will line up against each other and the world’s best sprinters in the 100m.

2014 European 400m hurdles champion and Rio Olympic 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle), will face a tough international field in the 400m hurdles, which includes the Rio Olympic silver medallist Sara Slott Petersen

Four British long jumpers, world silver medallist Shara Proctor (Rana Reider), European indoor silver medallist Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson), European silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers (Kelly Sotherton) and 2014 world indoor long jump silver medallist Katarina Johnson-Thompson, will face both the Olympic champion and silver medallist from Rio, Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese.

Shara Proctor said: “I can’t wait for the Müller Anniversary Games. The best athletes in the world always want to compete there, and the stakes are even higher this year because the World Championships is on the same track just a few weeks later.

“The crowd in the London Stadium is always fantastic and I’m sure the send-off for the British athletes will be an amazing spectacle and really loud.”

British Athletics is encouraging fans to turn out in red, white and blue for the Müller Anniversary Games and cheer on the Brits as they prepare for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

With summer just around the corner, thoughts are turning to BBQs, the beach, and bikini shopping.

But if you’re like a third of young women who are too self-conscious to go swimming, instead of looking forward to stripping down to a bikini on the beach, you might find yourself missing out through body anxiety.

Swim England recently launched its plan to get the nation swimming:

“Our aim is to encourage everyone to take part in swimming in the way that suits them. Whether that is for fitness, to be the best they can, or as a volunteer teaching people to swim. Together we will reach our goal of a happier, healthier and more successful nation through swimming.”

If you can muster up the confidence to go swimming, it has amazing health and fitness benefits, as Carly Yue, personal trainer at DW Fitness Clubs explains:

‘Swimming is an amazing all round body workout, it has minimal impact on your joints so is a great option for injury rehabilitation.

You can get a workout from simply walking up and down in the pool as the water resistance means you need to put in more effort (and burn more calories) than simply walking on a treadmill.’

Longer working hours and the rise of obesity has been cited as the reason less of us are swimming, but other answers to the survey included poor health and not having enough time with children.

Public health experts in Sandwell are urging men to do something about their ‘belly fat’ as part of this week’s national Men’s Health Week.

The campaign is highlighting the dangers of abdominal obesity, better known as ‘belly fat’.

It focuses on encouraging men to be aware of the size of their waist, to help them become fitter and healthier.

Jyoti Atri, Sandwell’s Director of Public Health, said: “We have high levels of obesity amongst our men and this increases their risk of developing disease and early death. Men who have a waist measurement of over 37 inches have increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.”

Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Steve Eling added: “We want to offer support to men to help them reduce their risk of these diseases, by watching their weight, taking more exercise and eating healthily.”

There’s plenty of support on offer. Sandwell’s Weigh2GO self-monitoring programme enables people to weigh themselves at various locations in Sandwell and to track their weight loss on their phone, with additional online support.

There’s also the Man vs Fat football scheme, where men take part in a weekly tournament and get advice about nutrition.

Paul said: “Every time I have come I have lost weight and met some new people as well. There is nothing malicious in the football and everybody gets on. It’s not just about winning on the pitch – you can still win by losing weight.”

Kevin added: “We get to play the game with like-minded people who need to lose a few pounds, and the exercise really helps. It’s a good laugh, it’s not overly-competitive, some players have never played the game before, so come along and enjoy it.”

Also, Weight Watchers is offering 12 weeks of free sessions for Sandwell residents. There are more than 20 sessions in the local area which people can attend.

Joining Weight Watchers also provides you with free access to online support for up to 16 weeks. Weight Watchers sessions are now available for wheelchair users at Portway Lifestyle Centre.