Our new Sports Arena was a great hit last year and we are determined to big on it's success with loads more activities for 2017, some you'll have heard of and some we have made up!
Skating & Biking
For the second year in a row, we will be constructing the Deer Shed half-pipe and welcoming Onboard Skatepark through the festival gates. Since the inclusion of BMX in 2008's Beijing Olympics, the sport, along with skateboarding, has grown in popularity and participation. Who knows... perhaps one of our Deer Shedders will discover a hidden talent whilst cruising up and down the half-pipe. Hey, we'll settle for just one Deer Shedder discovering a new passion for a super fun extreme sport like BMX-ing or skating.
Let Jessica Herbert & Askham Bryan College Tree Climbers help you to safely scale the most magnificent specimens Baldersby Park has to offer. What is always the greatest urge you feel when you see such giants of the natural world? Climb! We will be welcoming Jessica Herbert, the Head of Horticulture at Askham Bryan, who will be scaling the most impressive trees, and helping you to conquer them with her. We guarantee this will be the most extreme bushcrafting you are ever likely to experience.
For too long young witches and wizards of the Deer Shed world have been neglected. How can they be expected to kick a football whilst wearing pointy shoes? Why partake in tree climbing when you can fly through the sky with ease? For #DeerShed8 we have teamed up with Derby Union Quidditch Club to ensure the festival's marginalised magicians can enjoy the sports arena as much as the muggles. Hop on your Nimbus 2000, avoid the bludgers and catch the golden snitch!
Down the years, Deer Shedders have loved picking up a bat to play ping pong in the sports arena. This year, though, we thought we'd really push the boundaries. Wrong pong is a new craze in the world of table tennis that aims to blend the popular sport with art, and we thought it sounded right up the street of our festival-going friends. Slanted, curvy and topsy-turvy: the table can look like anything in wrong pong. Creative designers fashion new types of wacky table to play the classic game on, to give it a twist that results in endless fun.
After the success of the club's appearance at DSF7, we have once again teamed up with Middlesbrough FC's MFC Foundation, who will run training sessions held by their professional coaches. Two previous Middlesbrough coaches have progressed on to become England manager in the last eleven years, including the current incumbent of this post, Gareth Southgate. That really says something about the calibre and pedigree of football coaching the Premier League club will offer at #DeerShed8! The Foundation is dedicated to raising aspirations across Teesside and beyond by engaging with over 35,000 people from a wide range of backgrounds.
We know this is a little unorthodox, but Deer Shed Festival has never been one to play it safe. It’s nice to imagine how a concept like rugby golf could have been thought up. When I first heard of it, I imagined that a sub-par golf player had grown tired of missing the ball completely with his club, so kicked it out of frustration… and it felt bloody good. Rugby golf is exactly what it says on the tin: a brand new sport combining the kicking and passing skills of rugby with the accuracy and strategy of golf. Even if you’ve never ventured into the world of either sport, Yorkshire Rugby Golf will be on hand to help players of all abilities to tee-off.
Tag archery, presented by Monster Adventure, is a unique and fun way for people of all ages to enjoy the age old bow and arrow sport, without the risk of taking any eyes out or having to remove sharp objects from unmentionable places. Two teams, consisting of 5 players each, face off against one another, much like in Dodgeball. There are two objectives: tag the opponents and knock out the five discs of the opposing team's target. The winners will be awarded the Deer Shed Golden Arrow, going down in festival folklore as dead eyes that would rival Robin Hood in his prime.
That Game with a Tennis Ball on a String®
Many people say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It is entirely possible that these people are talking about That Game with a Tennis Ball on a String® and – if so – we personally find this quite insulting. The Deer Shed team, along with many other festival goers, have had an unfathomable number of TGWATBOAS in our time, but it always promises to be a tasty affair, with a different champion almost every time. Come play on one of our 30+ custom built sets.
Parkour is just about the coolest thing you can possibly imagine, although not as funny as this. The extreme sport was originally developed to turn urban environments into playgrounds for adventurous athletic types, focusing on the transcendental state one can achieve by jumping, flipping and diving over stuff. If the kids already climb the walls at home, why not harness that energy and unleash them on the Deer Shed parkour experience?
Can you imagine a distant alien race gazing down on Earth from outer space to see some of the crazy pursuits us humans partake in? This sport would probably count as one of those pursuits. Slacklining: a haulage strap ratcheted between two trees or some other fixed object for person after person to regularly and unwaveringly fall off in comical fashion. Oops, sorry – we mean for person after person to regularly balance on. Mwahaha... foolish Earthlings.
Tchoukbal was originally developed as a warm up activity for the Swiss national handball team. Little did they realise, they had created a whole new sport that now has its own international competitions. The point of the game is to avoid conflicts with other players. During the course of the game the players are not permitted to: interfere with opponents; intercept a pass; interfere with the ball carrier or block any shots. The defending team instead positions themselves to defend the ball against the Tchouk!
There really is no better feeling than striding through the fields of Baldersby Park; the wind blowing through your hair as you are cheered across the finish line by family and friends. This year we are offering both a 3k and a 6k track so you can test yourself a little more if you fancy a challenge. Equally, nobody will judge you if had a bit too much fun on Friday or Saturday night to really push yourself to the limit the next morning! Runners must be aged 10+. 10-15 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.
As we're sure you already know, Deer Shed Festival is over the moon to welcome our headliner, The Divine Comedy, to Baldersby Park. We have it on good record that Neil Hannon is a big cricket fan – so much so that he wrote a whole album for The Duckworth Lewis Method, another musical project of his, called Sticky Wickets, which is all about the sport. In honour of our special guest, we thus present Deer Shedders with Divine Cricket! As you might guess, it’s largely the same as regular cricket. We promise we’re not just trying to tempt Mr Hannon into a little game...
Thirsk Falcons FC
Fancy yourself as having the skills of Messi, the eye for goal of Ronaldo, or perhaps even the cat-like reflexes of De Gea? That's right: as well as some truly wacky sports, #DeerShed8 will also present some good old football, the nation's favourite game. Thirsk Falcons FC will once again return to the lush green sports fields of Queen Mary's School, who have kindly leant us such a facility. The club will run organised matches and even provide some training sessions. Thankfully, this means that even if you're a little less David Beckham and a little more David Brent, the Falcons will be on hand to help you improve your game and enjoy a friendly kick-about!
In an age where our mobile phones do everything for us, more and more kids are growing up without learning skills that were once – and still should be – considered vital. GPS maps are great, but what if you lose battery in an unfamiliar place? We think the importance of orienteering skills are now often overlooked, so we’ve developed an area for the young ones, and the older ones, in case you’ve been lost more than you care to mention during the digital age!
Quite a scary hippo that, but there will be no live hippos onsite - just our take on the frantic MB game, this hungry hippos is played with four children, four adults, four boards, four washing up bowls and loads of those 'ball pool' balls. We think you can imagine how it works, highly competitive and great fun. (The boards are also very useful for moving pianos!)
Hobby Horse Polo Club
Hobby horse polo is a cheap and cheerful version of the original game played by super rich aristocrats on horseback (real, not wooden, as with our variation). We did consider getting the real thing, but decided we actually prefer polo on a hobby horse: it empowers the imagination and – let's face it – holding a stick is much easier than riding a real horse!
In addition to everything else, we are also offering a mixture of what we call 'DIY sports'. These essentially encompass any sport that you won’t need our watchful eye for the purpose of refereeing or supervising. The DIY sports include badminton, Frisbee, many different ball games and even hungry hippos, which is always a hit with the kids. You're even welcome to invent your own sport – now there's a challenge!
Buggy Core Fitness
It's so difficult when you have a little'un to find the time, energy and motivation to exercise. But what if there were a way to exercise, not just in the company of your child, but actually using them? Spoiler: there is! We are introducing buggy core fitness to #DeerShed8, which is exactly what it sounds like: improving your core fitness... with a buggy. No need to find someone to look after the kids; no need to even let them out of your sight!