Ice Hockey With Buckt and Coventry Blaze

It has to be said, we are a sporty family. We are all a little obsessed with football, supporting West Brom Albion since the year dot and attending as many matches as possible. Joe plays football too, and also boxes twice a week, whilst I love to watch live sport including tennis, cricket and athletics. And now we can add Ice Hockey to our obsessions after attending our first match watching Coventry Blaze, courtesy of our Buckt subscription.

Buckt is the subscription box service that allows you to enjoy a range of cool activities in your area. You don’t have to do them all, often just doing one thing covers the price of the box, but you have the option to do up to five activities in a month. We chose to do Ice Hockey as a family, paying for passes for Joe and his friend, whilst we had our tickets courtesy of our Buckt subscription.

The Coventry Blaze play at the Coventry Skydome,which is a fabulous venue where you can make a real night of it, with a bar, Papa John’s pizza and a small food court. As it is ice hockey you need to dress in your warm outdoor clothes, but the fabulous, friendly atmosphere soon warms you up. The date that we attended was the night of ‘air the bear’ when spectators are encouraged to bring along a cuddly toy which can then be thrown onto the ice when the home team score their first goal, the toys being donated to local children’s charities. This was great fun and it was gratifying to see so many get involved.

Ice Hockey itself is fast and furious, with teams being changed at regular intervals. It was interesting that although the game is split into three 20 minute periods, the clock is stopped at regular intervals, so a third feels much longer. There is also the ‘sinbin’ where players have to retreat for two minute penalties for fouls. Stoppages are filled with live music, songs recognisable to the crowd who often join in singing and dancing. It makes for a fabulous, family friendly, fun atmosphere, and I must admit to be hooked very quickly.

If you’ve never attended an Ice Hockey match I would highly recommend it, it is great fun for all the family.

To subscribe to Buckt, click here.

Things to Consider Before Getting into Horse Riding

There isn’t much to match the freedom and exhilaration you feel when out riding a horse, the experience is particularly unique. For owners however, what comes with that experience is a lot of hard work and considerable expense and it is with this in mind that here we seek to offer some tips on things to consider before getting into horse riding.

Choosing a Horse

Before getting into horse riding and certainly before buying a horse there are several factors to consider and first is the kind of horse that will suit you. For example, inexperienced riders or those who don’t have lots of time to look after a horse may be best advised to buy an older horse as they need less exercise and are more likely to have a cool temperament.

Other tips include taking an experienced horse person with you when looking to buy, checking the animal’s ID and having it looked at by a vet.

The Costs

The cost of buying a horse varies greatly, in fact you can often get one for free, but at the top end of the scale you can pay millions – what is easier to quantify is the cost of keeping a horse.

The average cost of full livery is somewhere in the region of £500 per month, but of course if you keep your horse at home then the price of looking after it will be much less. In addition to this, there are the one-off costs such as saddles, tack, riding protection, clothing and boots.

Having made some calculations, you will soon realise that owning a horse is not cheap, but looking out for promotions such as end of season or Black Friday sales can help a lot.

Consider the Commitment

Perhaps the most important factor to consider is that of commitment. The best experiences come from a scenario where the horse and owner have a great bond and this can only be achieved by taking the time to look after the animal yourself and ride it regularly.

It may sound obvious, but without this long term commitment, you may have the horse for some 30 years, it might be worthwhile reconsidering your plans – you could always attend a riding school instead, then reconsider further down the line.

If, however, you are sure you can afford a horse and are fully committed, you can look forward to a rewarding relationship, better health and some amazing experiences.

The Euro’s by Numbers

The knockout stages are completed, with some teams already packing their bags and heading home with their brief dreams of lifting the trophy over. Yet for the 16 teams that remain, that dream of glory is still there, with more excitement and frenzy to look forward to in their quest for Euro glory. Euro 2016 is proving to be as exciting and unpredictable as any tournament of recent years, but what about the numbers, what it the cost of hosting the tournament, how does it really all add up.

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UK Credit, who offer guarentor loans that help those who may have trouble finding other sorts of credit, and are highly rated on trust pilot (9.5/10), have been looking into the high cost of football at the Euros on their supberb ‘Money Life’ blog, and their findings make for interesting reading. They have looked at just how much France has paid out to have that home advantage, and what other costs have to come into play. Taking into account everything from the number of players ar the tournament, to the stadiums being used, the numbers surrounding Euro 2016, are, not surprisingly, huge.

The Euro 2016 tournament has played host to 552 players, playing 51 matches, making up 24 teams. The matches take place in 10 different cities, in ten different stadiums, the smallest being Toulouse with a capacity of 33,000, the largest being the magnificient Stade de France in Paris, which can hold 80,000. Having enough state of the art stadiums accounts for some of the cost of the Euro’s, with a staggering 1.66 billion euros being spent on new stadiums, and another 40million spent on renovating existing stadiums.

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But stadiums are not the whole story. A big issue this Euro’s has been the security situation, with France on high alert for terrorism in the wake of the Bataclan and Charlie Hebdo attacks. Football was targeted in November, with bombs going off outside the Stade de France, so security has been increased. Unfortunately this has not stopped flares and fireworks being taken into the grounds, or violence and vandalism outside the grounds, which will further add to the cost of the Euro’s.

In total, it is reckoned that the 2016 Euro’s will eventually cost France somewhere in the region of 2.12billion for the privilege of hosting, but there is no doubt that they are a moneyspinner too, with sponsorship rights, television rights, the sales of beer, food and flags and tourismall adding to the coffers, Whether the profits outweigh the cost remains to be seen, but if France go on to win, I’m sure national pride will say it was worth every penny.

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