Victorian Olympic Festival a roaring success
Today saw the staging of Leicester’s second Grand Olympic Festival, 146 years on. Back in 1866, the first such festival was held in the grounds of the Leicestershire and Rutland Lunatic Asylum. That asylum building is now our Fielding Johnson Building and the grounds are the campuses of the University and our two neighbouring sixth form colleges.
Students (and a few staff) assembled on the college rugby pitch for a series of old-fashioned events including the 100-yard dash, the tug o’war and the cricket ball toss. There were also some modern Paralympic events – sitting volleyball and blindfold goalball – demonstrating how sport has changed over the intervening century and a half.
Victorian outfits helped to provide verisimilitude and we even received a visit from an original 1870s velocipede. The rain held off and the day was judged a tremendous success by all involved.
A detailed report on the day, with plenty of photos and links, will be posted on Newsblog later this week. But for now here is an iPlayer link to Jim Davis’ show on Radio Leicester. You can hear a live report from the 1866 Olympics at 2’08”.