On Sunday 30th August the amazing DMSF team were back on the road again, or in this case, back in the Park… delivering a sports day to remember in a bid to get families active. DMSF Coach, Denis Moran, tells us more.

The event took place in Philips Park in Manchester on the last bank holiday weekend of August and marked our collaboration with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Sport England.

DMSF was awarded a grant to deliver and coordinate the RFU Families Fund project, which is funded by Sport England, the Rugby Football Union and the National Lottery.

The Families Fund invests in projects that give families what they really want and need to get active. The aim of the project is to get young people and their families active in a physical context, developing healthy lifestyles and, above all, having fun too!

The Fund was looking for local experts with knowledge and contacts in their area and DMSF was chosen as a delivery partner due to their community connections and expertise in delivering inclusive programmes that encourage participation.

The day would not have happened without the support of Manchester City Council, who worked tirelessly to help us stage the event, Phil Clarke at Manchester Active, the RFU and Sport England.

The DMSF team did what they do best, which was to come together and put on an engaging afternoon that everybody who took part in loved.

There was a whole host of sporting events from rounders and rugby to sprint racing and the crossbar challenge. DMSF Apprentice Coach, Django Back, even organised a balance line to promote the importance of balance and stability, which was not for the faint hearted!

84 people attended the event, which was made as safe as possible with DMSF following government advice and implementing the necessary safety measures and gave all the activities a try.

DMSF recognises the vital role sports and physical activity plays in ensuring physical and mental health and what helped make this event so special was that this it took place during the newly imposed Manchester lockdown, arguably a time where people need this type of support the most.

A great deal of preparation and planning went into putting the event on and at one point it looked like it may be called off. However, the team were not to be defeated and worked hard to ensure that all the physical activities could take place and everyone who participated was safe.

There were numerous Covid-friendly prizes to be won and challenge giveaways on the day, and some of the DMSF coaches couldn’t resist getting involved and showcasing their skills… we will never forget Clive’s stunning crossbar challenge shot. We think even a certain ex-runner was impressed!

The contribution of our sports leaders was also fantastic and truly epitomised what DMSF is all about. Many of these young sports leaders have grown up with DMSF playing a central part in their lives and it clearly shows. Their behaviour and demeanour on the day was beyond their young years, and they were not only a credit to themselves and their families, but also to DMSF. They embodied all we represent with their enthusiasm, encouragement and engagement throughout the day. If they are the future of DMSF then there is so much to look forward to and so much to be proud of too.

It was a fantastic day that brought families across Manchester together. There was lots of fun, laughter and friendship. The aim was to get families active and that certainly happened.

Special praise must be reserved for our team of helpers and volunteers. They were instrumental in this day taking place and put so much energy into making it happen. They worked phenomenally hard, but all that hard work was well worth it and appreciated by so many.

A great day was had by all and it was a memorable way to mark the end of summer.

But this is only the beginning of our partnership with the RFU Families Fund; we have established a weekly rugby event at Cedar Mount in Gorton; we are currently delivering some taster events in secondary schools across Manchester and [at the time of writing] we are preparing to deliver our second DMSF Family Fund activity event at Broughton Park Rugby Club, on Saturday 17th October.

It’s all go, but that’s just the way we like it!