Hundreds of young people from Scout Association groups across the country came to a Billinge campsite in October for the annual Chariot Race event in the spirit of friendly competition and endurance.
The volunteer-run Bispham Hall Scout Estate, Crank Road – visited and praised by Chief Scout and popular adventurer, Bear Grylls – has hosted the race each year for the past 37. Scout and Explorer teams from age 10 to 18 are tasked with negotiating a challenging, 1km mud-covered obstacle course around the 60 acre site, in what has become a highly-contested competition.
Teams of up to 7 young people design, create and race their own vehicles, pushing, pulling and riding atop them. Participants, both girls and boys come from across the country to make new friends, develop confidence and personal skills and most importantly, to have fun being active outdoors.
Chris Hayes, Bispham Hall’s campsite manager, said: “The Chariot Race is our biggest event of the year which, for me, wholly embodies what it means to be a Scout. From the many weeks spent building and improving their chariots through the year, to the hard slog of the race itself, the young people that take part give their all, rain or shine, and get so much out of it.”
This year’s winners were: Scouts Winner – 8th St Helens. Scouts 2nd place – 2nd Atherton; Scouts 3rd place – 30th Warrington West.
Explorers Winner – Amazon ESU; Explorers 2nd place – Amazon ESU; Explorers 3rd place – 17th Huddersfield.
James Tombs, of Amazon ESU (Explorer Scout Unit), said: “We love coming back to Bispham Hall for the Chariot Race each year. The competition is great and it’s always good to see friends we’ve made in previous years and make new ones. Getting involved in Scouting is one of the best decisions I’ve made!”