How to enjoy the summer of sport and more on a budget

posted by in Budgeting

Swimming's a great way to get involved

Swimming’s a great way to get involved

Now that the Jubilee celebrations are mostly over, we’ve arrived at the ‘summer of sport’. There are plenty of expensive ways of to get involved – even travelling to London to watch some of the free Olympic events can cost a family a fortune.

So how can you get involved without breaking the bank? We’ve put together a list of several ways you can enjoy the sporty season, apart from just watching the events on the telly.

Get creative

Bunting and flags can get expensive if you need to buy a lot. Why not get the kids involved and get them to make them instead? I’m no Blue Peter presenter but I’m sure even I could knock something together!

Many of the events will be shown on giant screens. Find out where the nearest big screen to you is and take along your flags to cheer on your favourite athlete

On a similar theme you could run window boxes down the street in red white and blue. You could even get the gardening gloves out and plant flowers in the shape and colour of the Olympic rings if you’ve got real artistic flare.

If you’ve got the glue and coloured pens out why not have an Olympic torch competition and see who can make the best torch? You could have your own relay route around the neighbourhood and incorporate it with a street party.

Time to party

If you’re anything like me you’ll love any excuse to have a get together and celebrate something. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate and here’s a few:

Celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay. You can follow the Olympic flame up until the 27th July. Find out when and where it will be near you and read the inspiring stories of the torchbearers up and down the country. Watch the torch as it passes your town or city and line the streets to join in and have some fun. Any decorations or flags you’ve made will come in handy too.

Attending the Olympic opening ceremony on the 27th July could cost you thousands of pounds. Instead you could make the most of the British weather and have a BBQ. Or if our summer lives up to its name, take the party indoors and host ‘bring-a-dish’ get together.

It starts at 8.30pm and will be shown on television so you can enjoy a perfect view and commemorate with those around you. Use this leaflet to help with ideas for decorations and food ideas.

Test those brain cells and have a quiz night. There are lots of ideas on the Olympics website to help you get organised or if you see yourself as a sporty know-it-all you could put your own together.

You could make up an easier version for the kids or better still get them to do it. Everyone loves a bit of competition and it helps get into the spirit of things. You could make your own bronze, silver and gold medals as prizes.

Get active

It’s too late to take part in this year’s Olympics but what better time than now to take up a new sport? Maybe you’ve seen something that interests you or you feel inspired by watching all the athletes.

All the sports that are included in this year’s Olympics are listed on their website. Take a look to see if there’s anything you fancy. The dates of the events are listed on there too so you can make sure that you know when to tune in and cheer on. Remember some sports can be costly, but you might be able to find a local club where you can rent kit instead of buying.

If you like sports but prefer not to get directly involved you could learn about becoming a referee or coaching instead.

If you are near London…

…make the most of it! The Olympics renowned for being expensive but there are still free things available. Remember that there are nine free road sport events including long distance running and cycling that you can watch for free. Don’t forget to take along your flags and banners to cheer them on.

If you’re in London and you’ve simply had enough of the Olympics, there are always other things you can do for free. Take a look at these 50 alternative and quirky museums for some inspiration.

Away from the sport

If you don’t fancy getting creative or the weather means you’d prefer to stay in the comfort of your own home there will always be something to watch or listen to.

Whatever you decide to do, this year will definitely be one to remember and you don’t have to shell out a fortune to join in on the fun. As we love social media, don’t forget that to follow @London2012 on Twitter and Like the London 2012 Facebook page for more inspiration. They also have a Youtube channel where they post videos daily.

Let us know what you’ll be doing to enjoy the summer of sport – as always we love to hear from you.

Pavan Gata-Aura is a qualified debt advisor with 6 years of experience. She enjoys spending time with her two children, fundraising for charities, has spent time volunteering in Africa and takes part in organised races.

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