Children’s sports festival cancelled for second time due to sodden summer

Last Years's Sportsfest at Inch Park.
Last Years's Sportsfest at Inch Park.
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A CHILDREN’S sports event has had to be cancelled for a second time this summer after the city was hit by more torrential rain.

The Sportsfest event, which was due to take place at Inch Park today, had to be called off because of waterlogged pitches and unsafe conditions.

Organisers had been expecting more than 600 local children to take part in the various outdoor sports demonstrations and “mini-Olympics”, but hopes were dashed after torrential storms hit the Capital on Wednesday.

Organisers have now admitted that the event may now not go ahead at all this year.

This is the second time that the event has had to be cancelled due to freak weather in the city. Organisers were forced to delay the one-day sports festival in June after unseasonal downpours caused flooding in many parts of Edinburgh and the Lothians, including the park.

Anthony Reen, development manager at the Inch Park Community Sports Club, said it was disappointing that the event had once again been affected by the weather.

“Because of the bad weather on Wednesday, and more rain forecast for today, the pitches are fully waterlogged,” he said.

“It’s a shame because it was a chance for all the sports club involved to showcase the sports that are available in the area.”

A city council spokesman said the cancellation of the re-scheduled event was a huge disappointment.

“Given the success of last year’s event, when over 500 young people took part, Sportsfest was set to be another fantastic day out and it is extremely disappointing that the weather has taken its toll for a second time,” he said.

Local councillor Tom Cook said more needed to be done to get to the root cause of the flooding in Inch Park.

“There is a definite flood issue in the park and it’s disappointing that there has been so much of a delay in establishing a root cause,” he said.

“Although there were measures taken decades ago to prevent flooding in the area, there are now parts of the park which did not previously flood and the water is no longer draining away in a few days.

“It’s disappointing that the event has been cancelled when you consider all of the hard work that has went into organising it.”

Now that the event has been cancelled for a second time, Mr Reen admitted organisers were not sure when it would be rescheduled for.

“We will be having a meeting with all of the sports clubs who were due to be involved in the next couple of weeks, but we’re not sure if we’ll have anything this year, it might take place later in the spring,” he said.

The council said that it hoped youngsters who had planned to participate in the event would instead take part in the fortnight of sports-themed events across the Capital during the Sports 

During the two-week period, people of all ages will be encouraged to take part in demonstrations and competitions, many of which are free, in more than 30 sports, including trampolining, synchronised swimming and fencing.