We’re in the top three! Home of Sport result announced.

Release date: 23 October 2015

After being shortlisted for the VisitEngland Home of Sport competition to find the ultimate sporting capital in the country, public voting has ensured that the Gloucestershire bid has claimed a highly creditable third place finish in a strong field.

The full results were announced by VisitEngland on Friday 23 October after members of the public had been asked to vote for one of six shortlisted Home of Sport contenders.  The final six – including a bid from Gloucestershire – had been selected by a VisitEngland panel that worked through 2,000 nominations. Criteria included: range of sporting venues and attractions; the breadth of sporting experiences; diverse and beautiful backdrops; and sporting trivia or claims to fame.

The public vote produced the following result:

  1. Nottingham (‘People’s Choice’ candidate because the region submitted most nominations at the outset)
  2.  Yorkshire (‘Sporting playground’ candidate)
  3. Gloucestershire (‘Quirkiest sports’ candidate)
  4. Rugby (‘Biggest claim to fame’ candidate)
  5. Manchester (‘Best sporting attractions’ candidate)
  6. London (‘Iconic venues and events’ candidate)

Susie Hunt, Partnership Manager for Cotswolds Tourism was delighted with the public response to the Gloucestershire bid:

“In sporting parlance, our bid has earned a bronze medal, which is a fantastic achievement.  I am extremely grateful to everyone who voted for the county. We knew that we were up against some stiff opposition, but people from across Gloucestershire and beyond really got behind our ‘quirky’ bid.  In particular, it was great to see so many wonderful images and postings on social media from local sports clubs, and sporting celebrities.  

“Quirky sports such as the Olympick Games at Dover’s Hill, surfing on the Severn Bore, the Tetbury woolsack races and the August Bank Holiday river football match at Bourton-on-the-Water obviously captured the public’s imagination. However, I think we also attracted votes because of the wide range of sports we offer to participants and spectators, including caving in the Forest of Dean, world class horse racing at Cheltenham, and world cup rugby at Gloucester.”

Susie’s sentiments were echoed by Maureen McAllister, executive director of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association, who added:  

"Congratulations to Nottingham - a truly worthy standard bearer for English sport. It's been a fantastic campaign with the people of Gloucestershire rallying to show off the wonders of our natural playground. The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is proud to be part of Gloucestershire and it's quirky sporting heritage and, while we may not have been crowned the winner, we hope that people will now call to mind our ancient traditions and exciting modern activities when they think of English sport."

Cotswold District’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Partnerships, Cllr Chris Hancock, was always confident that Gloucestershire would stand out as a national Home of Sport contender and was buoyed by the result:

“The Cotswolds has a fantastic sporting heritage, ranging from traditional gatherings to internationally acclaimed events, and this result should boost our standing as a major visitor destination.  I am very grateful to everyone involved in promoting our bid – they did a wonderful job.

“This Council and other local authorities have recently pledged financial support to the establishment of a new Cotswolds Destination Management Organisation which will work with tourism businesses to achieve even more economic growth in the local tourism sector.  I am sure that this strong showing in the Home of Sport competition will be of great benefit to the new organisation as they plan future marketing campaigns.”



Did you know?

You don’t need to travel to Rio de Janeiro next year to experience the Olympics.  Chipping Campden has been hosting the Cotswold Olimpicks for over 400 hundred years old and showcases ancient sports such as shin kicking and tug o’ war. See http://www.olimpickgames.com/

You can surf the Severn. The Severn Bore is one of only two ‘surfable’ river tides in the whole world. The best waves arrive in autumn and spring with beautiful spots along the river to watch if you don't fancy getting wet!

You can chase a Gloucestershire Cheese down a very steep hill. In the Cotswolds – Cheese Rolling is one of our very quirky sporting events.  You get to win the cheese if you come first.  www.cheese-rolling.co.uk

You can enjoy 25 sports within a 25 mile radius of Cotswold Water Park! –  Archery, Angling, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cable skiing, Canoeing, Cycling, Dragon Boat racing, High ropes course, Horseriding, Golf, Kayaking, Offroading, Open Water Swimming, Paintballing, Shooting, Sailing, Snorkelling, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Tennis, Rally Driving, Rowing, Triathlons, Wakeboarding, Windsurfing, Waterskiing. This must rank it as one of the most diverse sporting areas in the UK.  See http://www.waterpark.org/

The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is a natural playground. Canoe down the River Wye, climb Symonds Yat, cycle through the ancient woodlands or climb the trees themselves - the landscape of the region has sport at its very heart.  

Laurence Shahlaei (born in Cheltenham) is a strongman competitor, winner of England's Strongest Man, Britain's Strongest Man and a regular competitor at the World's Strongest Man event.

Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, born in Cheltenham, now living near Woodchester, is a British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.

To find out more about Cotswolds Tourism, contact Sally Graff or Susie Hunt on 01285 623000 or email cotswoldstourism@cotswold.gov.uk

About VisitEngland

VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors.

For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitengland.com/biz or www.visitengland.com for consumer information.

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road