Getting out and about this Autumn

For many people, Autumn is the best season. It it a time of great natural beauty, the leaves change and fall from the trees as temperatures start to fall, but we still have gloriously sunny days and blue skies that hold off the bay of Winter just that little bit longer. These lovely days (and if we’re really lucky, a touch of an Indian Summer) make Autumn a season where we really should be getting out and about and enjoying some fresh air and outdoor pursuits.

There really is no reason to be staying inside. Children need to be turfed out, away from their computer screens, and instead given a football, a frisbie or a kite. Moms and dads need to put those car keys away and make the most of the season by opting to walk to the shops or the school. Even if your mobility is a problem for you, there is still no reason why you can’t enjoy some time away from the TV, computer or PS4. A range of different mobility aids from a company like Pro Rider Mobility can give you the support you need to be able to enjoy time outdoors, whether it be a trip in the park or taking in a nature walk. And don’t forget that the best events of Autumn, Halloween and Bonfire Night, take place outside.

Here are a few more ideas for enjoying a wonderful Autumn.

Enjoy your local Park

As I’ve already mentioned, parks are beautiful places of change at this time of the year. Whether you are walking your dog, or taking your children to search for conkers and pine cones, this really is a great way to spend a couple of hours, particularly whilst we still have some daylight hours in the evenings after school and work.

Get yourself to a football match

We are now well into the football season, and while I have to admit that it gets pretty cold on the stands once we hit Winter, for me, the best way to spend an Autumn afternoon is cheering on your team at the top of your voice, and getting a hotdog covered in mustard on the way back. Most grounds these days have access for those with mobility problems, with my team, West Brom, also adding an area for those with sensory issues and new commentary for death supporters, making football far more inclusive than it was in the past.

At WBA v West Ham last Saturday

Say Goodbye to the bears of The Big Sleuth

The Big Sleuth has been a massive success if Birmingham and the surrounding areas this Summer, with 100 bears delighting thousands of people. But all good things must come to an end, and the weekend beginning October 6th sees the finale for the bears, as they are all gathered together in East Park for one last goodbye. If you didn’t get chance to see the bears in their locations, this is a great way to see the bears all together.

Birmingham Weekender

This weekend sees the Birmingham Weekender, a weekend dedicated to getting the arts out and about in the city of Birmingham. From Rangeeli, a colourful community parade taking place through the city-centre complete with Harminder the Elephant, to Slack Rope Connections and the Bullzini Family Funambulists in Cathedral Square, who will help you test your balancing skills, this is a great way of getting out and about with your family, and finding that the city is about far more than shopping.

How will you enjoy the great outdoors this Autumn?

Celebrity Riding Fans

Horse Riding is often described as the Sport of Kings, but these days it could also be as truthfully described as the sport of the glamorous celebrity. The list of well known names who enjoy carrying horse treats in their pockets in their spare time is both long and surprising.

I’ve compiled a list of just some of the celebrities who take the opportunity to ride in their downtime.

Madonna

Top of any list of celebrity riding fans has to be the queen of pop herself, Madonna. We all know that Madonna had a very ‘English phase’ during her marriage to film director Guy Ritchie, where, as well as drinking tea, talking with a cut glass accent and wearing a nifty line in tea dresses, Madonna developed a passion for horses that continues to this day (she currently owns two.)

I can’t help thinking that the fashion maverick just loved the look of jodphurs and a riding hat (and we all know she’s been partial to a whip at times), but the fact that she actually trained, and with none other than William Fox Pitt clearly indicates that the one time Material Girl has clearly been bitten by the riding bug.

Mary Kate Olsen

These days she is better known for her fashion designing skills along with her sister Ashley for her label ‘The Row’, but Mary Kate is actually an accomplished horsewoman who has competed, most famously at the Hampton Classic Show. From a fashionista point of view, can you imagine how stylish The Row riding apparel would be. I think Mary Kate could be onto a real winner with that.

Bella Hadid

It sort of seems apt that the coltish, beautiful Bella Hadid is another lady with a passion for being in the saddle. The lovely supermodel is said to aspire to ride in an Olympic Games, well, there’s certainly still time to get the practice in before Tokyo 2020.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga became a fan of horse after she was presented with one by her record company. She is now the proud owner of a stallion called…wait for it…Trigger. (How Original!) Gaga is one person I would totally love to see on a horse, can you imagine the fun she would have with equestrian gear, and has for the boots….

Jordan/Katie Price

No roundup of celebrity horse riding fans can be complete without some mention of Jordan/Katie Price, or whatever she happens to be calling herself this week. Katie is a lover of dressage (couldn’t you guess that a woman obsessed with pink would also love the idea of dancing horses) and is actually, all joking aside, an accomplished horsewoman who is very passionate about horse sports, also playing polo. She also happens to have her own equestrian clothing line, KP equestrian, which, has you can probably imagine, is very pink, very tongue in cheek and a whole lot of fun. After all, who could resist a ‘50 shades of hay’ t-shirt…

Are you a fan of horses, have you ever tried horse riding?

Creating a mini Wembley Stadium in your Garden

Ask any young football fan what their ultimate dream is, and, chances are they will mention scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final with the match held at Wembley Stadium. But although the chance of becoming a modern day Geoff Hurst is pretty slim, that doesn’t mean that all those budding Ronaldo’s and Messi’s should give up on their dreams altogether.

If you can’t get to Wembley, then maybe Wembley should come to you. Any garden has the capacity to become your very own Wembley Stadium, after all it only needs four sides and corners, and garden fences and walls already give the feeling of a stadium. These days, rather than using jumpers for goalposts, you can actually buy a pretty good set of goalposts, and maybe even two. The good news is that the latest range of pop up football goals are easy enough to erect by just one person in double quick time, and, because they are pop up, they are actually easy to move and transport around. Many sets will easily fit into a car boot, so they can be transported to the park, beach or any open play space. They can also be packed away and stored if you decide you want to use your garden space for a different purpose, taking up very little room in your garden shed or storage space. Once you want to use the goal again, the process is simple – no need for assembly or tools.

It is always a good idea to get your kids playing outside, rather than stuck in front of a games console, and pop up goals are a great way to encourage sport and exercise through actually playing football for real; rather than just playing it on Fifa 17. With goals coming in a range of sizes, these will work for children of all age ranges, and gardens of all sizes. The goals are also a great option for mini sports teams and junior football leagues as they are both transportable and affordable – if you practice on a park with no permanent goals, these are a reliable and practical idea.

If you are considering turning your garden into your very own Wembley Stadium, I can definitely recommend the Samba goals. We got a set of these for my son Joe’s last birthday. These are easy to erect yet have thick posts that are sturdy enough for those shots that hit the bar or post (my lad has won the crossbar challenge on more than one occasion and the goal is still standing.) If you are still unsure, Stadia Sports have a great phone or email service where you can put all your questions to an expert in order to ensure you get the right goals for your child, helping them to achieve their own sporting goals in the process.

With the football season just about to begin for thousands of junior football league teams, and now in full flow for the Premier League and EFL, now is the right time to invest in your own set of workable goals.