On that temperate Sunday, 19th May, morning some 158 under 12s registered their participation in our sixth annual 2k Fun Run, along with many parents, and yes even grandparents! The weather was kind enough to be cool for the runners, without the slightest breeze and occasional sunshine.
The local "Riot Squad" (who nobly assisted with the registration procedure) started the event with a gentle warm-up routine which the children thoroughly enjoyed. Then they moved to the start line and then the countdown before - they're off!
The 2k course leads the runners around the football pitch perimeter, through the woodland winding paths, returning to the open area of the park and back to the pavilion starting line. That's the first 1k! Now they do the whole route over again. The course is marshalled throughout by our loyal volunteers who encourage all the runners to keep going. The lead runner completed the course in 8 minutes 38 seconds.
All runners were presented with a signed completion certificate. To close the event we held a series of mini sprints and selective sports activities. A very satisfying and enjoyable day for all concerned.
Easter Egg Hunt
Over 80 children took part in the Friends of Oakley Park Easter Egg Hunt this year. Whilst over 6-year-olds hunted in the woodland to find 18 golden eggs hidden along the paths and amongst the trees, younger children searched for plant labels hidden in the open park. These tokens could be exchanged for chocolate Easter eggs provided by the Friends. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and it was lovely to see to many people joining in, stopping for a chat, and bringing the park to life.
Spring clean up
To make a local contribution to Keep Britain Tidy’s “The Great British Spring Clean-up 2019”, Friends of Oakley Park held their annual spring clean-up on Saturday, 30th March. All our volunteers enjoyed a glorious spring day with the temperature hovering around 18 degrees thanks to gentle sunshine and a very subtle breeze. Our 31 volunteers - yes, a record turnout - worked so hard it became almost impossible to find enough jobs to keep them all fully employed.
The scope of work undertaken included renovating the banks of the pond; landscaping the pond island; reinvigorating the memorial and pavilion gardens; replacing missing/damaged orienteering posts; repairing damaged drainage pipe supports; cleaning all the park signage; scrubbing clean the picnic benches and traditional benches; clearing the pavilion guttering of pine needles; installing our new banner; removing paint and washing clean several portable tables; scraping some white paint from the pavilion floor; sweeping the children’s play area free of leaves; washing the children’s play equipment - not to forget the multiple number of bags of litter collected by lots of our volunteer team. One of our volunteers began litter picking on Friday evening as he was unavailable to contribute to our Saturday efforts.
Well done and a big ‘thank you’ to all our hard working volunteers.
FOP's SOCIAL EVENING AND AGM
Saturday, 26th January. More than 30 members attended our Social Evening and AGM.
Prior to the formal AGM our guests enjoyed an excellent variety of cold delicacies and copious glasses of wine, not to mention soft drinks. Our treasurer advised members that £2,438 had been spent during the year on new equipment: the Flymobile (£3,337) and a woodland bench (£314). These were financed by income from the fête; Fleet Town Council had paid for installation of both. Other expenditure included a new gazebo and high visibility vests for volunteers. He added that the AGM was largely self-funding, and that the cost of other events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and Children’s Fun Run are now, in the main, met by donations on the day.Our Chairman summarised, with the help of a slide show, the many activities and events of 2018 including:- a work party to burn the holly from the November tree surgery; an Easter Egg Hunt, where over 200 chocolate eggs were given to children; Spring working party to tidy the park prior to judging for two categories in S&SE in Bloom (The park was awarded Silver Gilt in both Conservation and Small Park categories.); Children’s Fun Run and mini-sprints, in which 129 children under 12 years participated; Summer Fête with numerous events and stalls (new for 2018 – a BBQ from the Rotary Club of Rushmoor and a dog competition supported by Ark Vets.); Bush craft, with thanks to Miles Cooper for running this event; Autumn work party, which included hauling logs out of the pond (Subsequent to this, FTC dredged the pond and it is now clear of leaf litter and weed.); installation of a woodland bench, enjoyed in particular by youths in the park and finally our second Christmas carol event, with stockings for all the children taking part.
Looking to the future, we are looking at providing trim trail equipment for older children and adults. A survey undertaken at the fête has indicated the most popular equipment and the committee is now looking at suppliers and prices.
After recharging their glasses the members were entertained by an excellent presentation from Kevin Griffiths, the Watch Manager at Fleet Fire Station, who was our guest Speaker for the evening. It is always amazing what responsibilities are accepted by volunteers within our community who freely give their time and energy to take care of us when we are at our most vulnerable. The evening closed with a resounding round of applause.