More than a thousand people flocked to Wythenshawe Park today for a mass Zumba session – as part of the town’s own version of London 2012.
The toe-tapping throng were all taking part in a mass Zumba routine as part of the Wythenshawe Games - a nine-day festival of sport and culture complete with its own 'Olympic' style arena and village.
Although the crowd didn't set a new world record - it's currently held by Mexico - it did show how Zumba has been a key part of the personal best programme, getting people fit for the Wythenshawe Games.
The Wythenshawe Games officially opened on Friday (20 July) and the week has been packed with free sports, competitions, drop-in events and cultural activities. The Games end tomorrow (Sunday 29 July) with a day packed with family entertainment.
To date, around 9,000 people have entered sports or visited the cultural activities in Wythenshawe Hall.
Sports have been wide and varied from cycling, basketball, hockey and badminton, boxing, rugby to cheerleading, Frisbee-throwing, trampolining , Wii fit and dancing. The cultural programme has run from Wythenshawe Hall throughout the event and has included living history sessions, Tudor dancing, craft sessions.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said:
"This just shows you what a dynamic, vibrant community there is in Wythenshawe. That so many people turned out today for the Zumba session is proof that Olympic spirit extends from London all the way to Wythenshawe."
The overall aim of the Wythenshawe Games is to involve the whole community, regardless of age or fitness levels in a celebration of sport, which will have a lasting impact on residents' mental and physical well-being and even employment opportunities.
The idea for the Wythenshawe Games has been developed and funded in partnership between Manchester City Coucil, Parkway Green Housing Trust, Willow Park Housing Trust, The Manchester United Foundation, Wythenshawe Hospital, The Manchester College and Wythenshawe Forum Trust. Additional funding for the Games has also been generated through business sponsorship.
Ian Gregg, Director of Communities and Investment at Parkway Green Housing Trust said:
"The whole week has been packed with memorable occasions. We've had recently bereaved residents who have appreciated the camaraderie of the over 50's day. And parents have come back to us after the under 5's sports to say they were grateful that there was so much on offer for their children. The Games really have touched all areas of the community."