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Sports enthusiasts under starters orders for festival...

The organisers of Bury St Edmunds’ first ever Festival of Sport are promising activities for everyone from fitness fans to armchair enthusiasts when the nine-day event gets underway in September.


With dozens of ‘have-a-go’ activities set to take place across the town centre during the event, tickets will soon go on sale for the festival’s gala dinner at the Apex with TV and radio sports presenter John Inverdale as its special guest.


The Festival of Sport will begin on Saturday 12 September, which is when the Tour of Britain cycle race will come through the town and will run until the following Sunday (20 September). It’s being organised by a partnership including Ourburystedmunds, which manages the Business Improvement District (BID), along with Abbeycroft Leisure and St Edmundsbury Borough and Suffolk County Councils. The group is chaired by Ourburystedmunds Chief Executive Mark Cordell.


Cllr Joanna Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said:  “This is a wonderful initiative that will encourage people to become more active or try something new, as well as bringing people into our beautiful town centre. Ourburystedmunds has demonstrated once again that working collaboratively with partners can lead to exciting and new events to be enjoyed by all and I am delighted to be so closely involved with the inaugural Festival of Sport.”


As well as including the Tour of Britain stage, the Festival of Sport will also take in the opening Rugby World Cup match between England and Fiji at Twickenham on 18 September. The gala dinner with John Inverdale will take place on 14 September and will also benefit the charity SportsAid, which supports Britain’s brightest athletes of the future. The Theatre Royal is hosting an Ipswich Town Legends evening on 13 September.


Mark Cordell added: “The start of the Women’s Tour in Bury St Edmunds last month was a huge success for the town, which has now become a regular destination for the major cycle races. The Festival of Sport is a fantastic opportunity to build on that and celebrate all the other sports and activities that take place on a regular basis in the local area. A huge number of people put a lot of time and effort into grass-roots sports clubs and I hope this event will also give some of them the recognition they deserve.”


There are still opportunities available for sporting groups who want to run an event to coincide with the festival or to get involved with the activities. Interested clubs should email:


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