Some friends and I came up with the idea of Swingballdon during lockdown. We had so much fun that we wanted others to enjoy it too!
At the time you could only meet with one other person outside, so I would meet with one of my friends to play swingball as it was an activity we could do together while socially distancing.
As lockdown restrictions eased, we invited others to play and set up a bit of a tournament. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to start a Swingballdon tournament during what would have been Wimbledon fortnight, to encourage people to get active and take part in something fun.
It was lovely to see so many people get out and enjoy playing Swingballdon across the county. One group even had their own trophy! I think Swingballdon gave people a reason to get together, get outside and be active. A lot of the groups had strawberries and cream as part of their tournament set up too – as well as the odd glass of Pimms!
Initially, I had a broad idea that I wanted to do some kind of tournament and call it Swingballdon; we can move helped me refine the idea and turn it into something workable in practice. All of their help in promoting it and making sure the tournament was Covid-secure was also hugely appreciated!
For me, complying with the latest (and ever-changing) Covid guidance was the main challenge. While we wanted people to get out and do something fun and active, making sure that they did so in a safe way was paramount.
So, what’s next for Swingballdon? We plan to do a bigger and better event next year! We’re thinking about setting up a few swingballs in one location so we can give people the opportunity to turn up and play together – but we need to see what social distancing will allow.
Swingballdon wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for coronavirus, and even though it was a difficult time, it was great to see so many people enjoying being active.