Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Other Olympics

A great new book about international multi-sports competitions!

I’ve recently finished reading the new book ‘The Other Olympics’ by Matt Roebuck and must say what a great read it is.

During 2011 the author, Matt Roebuck, travelled around the world visiting thirteen international multi-sports games (the ‘Other Olympics’) and took in events such the Games of the Small States of Europe, the World Transplant Games, the Island Games, the European Masters Games, World Skills 2011 and the Pan-Armenian Games!

It was great to read about people's motivations for getting involved in different sports and multi-sport events as athletes, organisers and officials.

Whether you are involved in sport as an athlete, official, coach, media, organiser, committee member, volunteer or in any other capacity I think The Other Olympics is well worth a read.

I heard about the book after it was mentioned in a tweet by the TINTYPE Gallery when the author managed to score a hole-in-one on the very tricky (and crazy) ‘window hole’ at the Crazee Golf exhibition in London.

As someone who plays a lot of Minigolf (and a fair few other sports and games) and helps to organise and promote events on the British Minigolf Association Tour and within the World Minigolf Sport Federation I found the book interesting on a number of levels. Whether sports, associations, multi-sport events are big, small or somewhere in-between they have to deal with similar problems and issues, while there are also great opportunities to get people involved in sports.

The Other Olympics website has a comprehensive listing section of ‘Other Olympics’ from 2011, this year and for 2013.

While not featuring in the book (as it took place this year rather than last) it was great to see the World Alternative Games does appear on the Other Olympics website. I had a great time running the WFJF Finger Jousting Championships at the event and also came away as one-half of the World Egg Throwing Champion Team at the event! An excellent event in a great town (the smallest in the UK!).

This year I was also involved in bringing the sport of Minigolf to its first multi-sports games in the UK when it was included in the 2012 Oswestry Games in Shropshire. The Oswestry Games (aka The Oslympics) consisted of over 30 sports and 50 sports & cultural events over a ten-day festival of sport. It was a mammoth undertaking from the team at Oswestry Sports Council, but well worth it. You can check out the report from the British Minigolf Association activities at the Oswestry Games here.

Minigolf was also a part of the Hans Christian Andersen City Games in Denmark in July this year and back in 1989 the sport (Bahn Golf) was a demonstration event in the IWGA World Games in Karlsruhe, Germany. The World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) is also hoping to have Minigolf included in other multi-sport events in the future.

Please have a look on the links below for more about The Other Olympics and details of how you can buy a copy of The Other Olympics book.

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