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So, did you Join In last weekend?
To be honest, when we first started working on the website for Join In - a weekend of free local sport across the country - I didn’t really think I was the target audience. I’m not the sporty type. I think it comes from being a defiantly geeky kid in a house of enthusiastic football fans, and going to an overwhelmingly sports-mad high school alongside the likes of Andy Murray. I still regard the gym as a necessary evil.
But then we had the Olympics. And nobody was more surprised than me at how unexpectedly awesome it all was. I think the thing that I found most inspiring was reflecting on the incredible work ethic, discipline and self-motivation of all those athletes. What if we all applied a similar kind of drive to our working lives? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
I also started thinking about my own attitude to sport because, frankly, it all did look really fun . And so I found myself browsing the lovely Join In site to see what was happening near me. In the end I chose fencing, because I’ve always wanted to try it.
The London Fencing Club at Finsbury Leisure Centre took a packed class through the basics, armed us with foils and let us unloose our inner Errol Flynns. And it was amazing. Painful, hot and really difficult - but amazing. I swashed, I buckled, I quoted The Three Musketeers and The Princess Bride . And I’m signed up to six weeks more of classes. Maybe I am ‘sporty’ after all...
A lot of my classmates had already been busy trying sports like trampolining, badminton and table tennis at the club - the place was buzzing. It was fantastic to see a project that we’ve been working on, from a very digital perspective, come to life in such a brilliant way in the real world.
Here's a video that shows how Join In went down across the nation: