Why Holkham’s Festival of Sport could be your ticket to wellness
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There's no denying that the impact of the past 18 months has led to an increased enthusiasm for all things wellness, as we pay more attention to the health and happiness of ourselves and our families.
The benefits that sports can have on our physical and mental health are well documented, but many of us don’t always have time to relax or take stock of the influences on our health and wellbeing including nutrition, relaxation, education and strengthening of the mind.
One event sure to bring an excess of positive energy to young and old alike this summer is Festival of Sport, which will take place at Holkham Estate from August 13-15.
Over and above the endless opportunities to get active and have loads of fun, the festival also features a Wellness Zone, which over the weekend will offer a range of classes, workshops, talks and activities designed with physical and mental wellbeing in mind – for both adults and kids.
One of the organisations featuring in the zone is Brave Mind, a new charity set up to tackle mental health in rugby and aiming to create safe environments in sport so that those involved feel able to talk about issues openly.
Brave Mind founder Simon Trower says: “We’re really excited to be part of Festival of Sport and are looking forward to meeting as many people as possible. We are all about starting the conversation earlier and connecting people – and what a great place to do it!
"Using rugby and sport as vehicles to bring in the important topic of mental health is something that we are very passionate about. If we can do this with smiles on our faces as well, then all the better.”
On Sunday, August 15 international triathlete Kimberley Morrison will be talking about her journey from patient in Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital to professional triathlete, which is bound to both inspire and amaze. And if you’re up and about early on Sunday morning, Kimberley will also be leading a #RunforRuth 5K run around the beautiful estate.
Singer, actress and TV personality Suzanne Shaw is now a leading figure in the wellness industry, having quit unhealthy living in order to find her “happy” again.
She is the founder of The Happy Health Club, an online community for people to learn more about the benefits of nutrition, movement and mindfulness without being overwhelmed with crazy goals, fad diets or too much information.
As part of the event, Suzanne will deliver some energetic dance and fitness sessions, which she hopes will rev up the crowd – and it’s not just for the kids. “Parents can also get involved – it will be something that gets mum’s and dad’s blood circulating too!” she says.
Suzanne will also be on hand over the weekend to give expert guidance and tips for living a healthier lifestyle, inspired by her own wellness journey. Over the past year, she says she’s made some huge lifestyle changes, including swapping to a plant-based diet and taking up running.
And while Suzanne has already chronicled her journey on social media, which she describes as a “really brilliant community”, she says she is looking forward to speaking at Festival of Sport to share more about her experiences, including advocating for better mental health. “We don’t get taught this: how to look after our physical and mental health,” she explains. “It’s all about finding that sustainability and having a community of people helping you when you lose motivation.”
For those looking for more of a physical challenge, the zone will feature a MANOR outdoor gym and exercise area, so you can either pitch up for a workout at your own pace while the kids are being coached or sign up for one of Limitless Training Club’s Army-style sessions, designed to test your strength and endurance throughout the weekend.
But if pampering is more your thing, local beauty salon The Beauty House in Wells will be operating a pop-up spa, offering a range of treatments from facials to pedicures.
And if you’ve strained a little too much in the Adults vs. Legends Dodgeball match, don't worry, as Replay Sports Clinic will be offering massages (although extra costs apply to this and all spa treatments available).
With all this going on, the event looks like it’s going to be the tonic we’ve all been waiting for!
Day and weekend tickets are still available and are on sale at