Freedog Review: The Largest Urban Activity Centre in Europe

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Freedog is a newly built trampoline centre based in Swindon and the largest indoor park in Europe. Yes you read that right, the largest indoor park in Europe is in the county of Wiltshire!

The urban activity centre have been open for a few weeks, so I thought I would grab my GoPro and five volunteers to go down there to see what all the fuss was about.

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I will be honest with you, when I think of trampolining three things spring to mind; isolation, kids activity and sweat. It’s safe to say that two of the three of my opinions would be changed after my visit.

Upon my arrival, I found myself outside what looked to be an old industrial warehouse, I was intrigued to see how they have transformed this old building into a play area for adults and kids. Freedog did not disappoint, it was as if I had climbed inside my wardrobe and found myself in Narnia because you will be struck by how big the space is and the features within the facility. The park is 36,000 sq ft and boasts over 150 trampolines. A selection of food and drink is available in the arena, and free lockers for you to safely store your possessions.

I found the staff at Freedog were really helpful and friendly, which is refreshing to see as you could sense that they enjoyed their job.

The price to bounce for an hour is £10.00 but on your first visit you will be charged £12.00 as you have to have Freedog’s type of socks, which help give you more grip when doing their activities.

Now to revisit my preconceived thoughts about trampolining, I thought I would have to solo bounce around without really being able to engage with other people, and how wrong I was. The first activity me and my five volunteers done was dodgeball, which was a lot of fun and a great workout. However more importantly I could interact with other people. Fellow trampoliners became apart of a team for the brief period that they were playing. I even witnessed people trying to block the onslaught of dodgeball’s being fired at their team members. I hadn’t anticipated such intensity from other trampoliners, It was like being back in school playing p.e, where nobody wanted to be the reason their team lost so everyone would give one-hundred-percent effort.

The team games didn’t just stop with playing dodgeball, the foam pits became a platform for synchronised flips. I think some people were expecting to stand on a podium at the end of their go and receive a gold medal for the tricks they were pulling off. Maybe that’s the next step for Freedog, who knows but I can just see it now, the future of synchronised swimming being transformed into synchronised trampolining, and all the committee selectors would have to do is visit Freedog and they’d have a team ready to compete.
IMG_1886Other activities available include an open bounce area which offers you the chance to hone in on your bounce skills, and slam dunk which gives trampoliners the chance to dunk a basketball like Michael Jordan.

The other preconceived thought that I was wrong about, was the idea of trampolining being a kids activity. Although when you’re in the park you do feel like a little kid again running around and bouncing all over the place. I would strongly recommend that adults of all ages go down to Freedog and let of some steam and allow themselves to enjoy it. Don’t be the responsible adult taking your kids here and then watching from the cafe, join in and have some fun, let the inner child consume you for an hour.

Unfortunately my idea about the sweat has not changed but what do you expect when you’re bouncing around continuously for an hour.

The urban activity centre is a great new attraction to have in Swindon and will give their citizens an extra spring in their step, just make sure you are ready for a workout.

Below is the GoPro footage of the activities and fun that you can have at Freedog. Please watch, comment,like and subscribe.

Swindon Supermarine Continue Their Impressive Preseason With 5-0 win

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The Webbswood Stadium played host as Swindon Supermarine played Corsham Town in a preseason friendly. Marine showed their class against a team who looked out of their depth straight from the get go. This win ensured The Marines unbeaten preseason record was kept in tact, and demonstrated the strength they have in their ranks at the club.

Strikes from new signings Connor Waldon and Jacob Davidge gave Supermarine a comfortable lead going into halftime. Two goals from Josh Morse and a goal from Ryan Stanners, who were used as substitutes in today’s game, sealed a compelling victory for the Wiltshire based team.

Marine looked right at home from kick off, dominating possession and working the ball in midfield. It didn’t take long before the first opportunity was created as Chris Taylor played a diagonal pass out to the left hand side and Davidge raced on to the ball, but his shot flashed across goal and went out for a goal kick.

The visitors were proving to be a handful up top with midfielder Levi Cox winning the ariel battle throughout the first half. Cox was proving to be a tricky customer and had Corsham’s first shot on goal with a thunderous volley that had Matt Bulman scrambling to his right-hand side, but the shot whistled just past the post.

The home side took the lead on the 20th minute with a controversial goal from Connor Waldon, there were appeals for offside before the former Swindon Town striker nutmegged Corsham’s goalkeeper and slotted the ball home.

Image courtesy of Jeffyouphotography
Image courtesy of Jeffyouphotography

The Marine soon doubled their lead eight minutes later as Jacob Davidge finished off a brilliantly worked goal from the righthand side. Winger Bradley Gray combining with fullback Kyle Lapham before drilling the ball across for Davidge.

Davidge who was having a great debut for Supermarine, had the chance to double his tally. Once again he raced clear from a precise pass from Marines playmaker Chris Taylor, but Town’s keeper pulled off a good save to prevent them going in 3-0 down.

Supermarine went into halftime with a comfortable lead over their opponents, whilst Corsham Town looked like they couldn’t wait to get in and regroup for the second half.

The second half was much like the first half for Marine, as they showed no sign of settling for the result they already had.

The home team begun to find their rhythm and Waldon showed why he was Supermarines main transfer target this summer with some great holdup play and skill to skip past Corsham’s centre-back Sam Ockwell, cutting the ball back to Davidge who puts the ball wide from a shot 12 yards out.

It didn’t take long for Swindon’s next chance to come along, with Bradley Gray rising above everyone else to direct his header from a corner towards goal but Corsham managed to clear it off the line.

Town looked lackluster in this half and struggled to create anything up top. Marine’s defence looked solid with summer signings Ashley Taylor and Ryan Morgan already looking settled in their positions.

Dave Webb, Supermarine’s manager, decided to switch things up and subbed on Ryan Stanners, Josh Morse, Aaron Oakley, Joe Shepherd, Ryan Elliott, Sam Morris and Ryan O’Hara.

The subs made an instant impact as Waldon plays a perfectly weighted pass to put Stanners through on goal, who calmly finishes to put Marine 3-0 up with 75 minutes played.

Stanners then turns from goal scorer to assister, as he squares the ball across goal to Josh Morse who comes in off the left-hand side, beats the defender using the tricky of the step-over to go through one-on-one and tuck away the host’s fourth goal.

Morse scored Supermarine’s fifth goal, and his second of the game with a powerful volley into the keepers top right. Town’s keeper was left standing as he could only watch the ball fly past him into the top corner.

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Connor Waldon, who resigned back to the club earlier this week after being released from Swindon Town FC. Was brought in on loan at Marine last season for three months and quickly become a fan favourite.

“I am really happy the deal went through and Dave (Supermarine manager) reassured me of the clubs ambition. The whole team looks like it has improved a lot compared to last seasons.

I felt I had a good game today, and It’s always a good feeling to get on the score sheet. We looked very dangerous in attack and the score line should have been a lot more.

I can’t wait for the season to start and for us to give the Marine fans the season they deserve,” said Waldon.

This win capped off an emphatic performance from Marine and showed that they have the resources to do well in the league this season.

Marine have beat fellow rivals and League One side Swindon Town FC in their preseason and since that win, they have not showed signs of letting up.

Dave Webb has brought in a lot of young new players, and his gamble on players looks to be paying off. Webb’s team already looks like it is in the process of the team gelling together and if Supermarine can continue to play their attractive style of football like they have this preseason, then they will be one of the teams to watch in the Evo-Stik League.

“This is our fifth preseason game and we are making good progress, the squads looking strong and we kept another clean sheet. I am pleased where we are at the moment and it’s all heading towards two weeks time when we start at Bambury in the league on the 8th of August.

We’ve attracted a good mix of players and have a good spine to the team. We have some really exciting young players and I don’t think we could be in any better shape,” said Dave Webb.

The Adventures of Reece VS Gout (Gary)

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Gary torments Reece
Gary torments Reece

Image via creative commons – James Gillray

When trying to describe what gout feels like, I can only describe it as excruciating!To define this would be extremely painful, causing intense suffering, unbearably distressing and torturing and even these words do not paint the full picture.

My unfortunate adventure with my great enemy begins May 2013, although for the sake of this blog we are now going to address gout as Gary! To be honest with you, I’ve never really liked the name Gary anyway so this is fitting for the blog. I would say i’d apologise to any Gary’s reading this, but I don’t really mind upsetting you because its technically all your fault.

Sorry where were we, oh yes, May 2013. I was rudely awoken by an intruder and jolted from my comfortable position to the sudden horrendous, sharp, throbbing pain torpedoing into my right big toe. It felt as though a volcano had erupted and magma was beginning to cascade into the ball of my foot. Every time I went to place my foot on the floor it felt as though Gary grew with anger and proceeded to inflict more pain my way!

I decided to try and wait it out hoping that Gary would get bored, but my patience began to grow thin and desperation started to set in. There was only so much more that I could endure. The medicine was close but yet seemed so far away, I knew that if I reached the target then I would have conquered Gary and vanquished him back into purine particles.

This was it, the moment of truth, I used the element of surprise after elevating my foot for so long and before Gary had time to react, I had reached the treasure of all treasures my Naproxen BP 500 mg! I swallowed two of these tablets and instantly felt a sense of ease.

A couple of hours later and I felt as though I was back to normal, Gary had been defeated. However I knew that my conquest would be short lived and that even though I had won this battle, It didn’t mean that I had won the war which was heading my way.

To be continued………..

Reece conquers Gary
Reece conquers Gary

Image via creative commons – Nobili Napoletani

A Young Persons Guide To Overcoming Gout

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As a gout sufferer, I have learnt a few tricks along the way to help minimise the gout attack and maintain a diet that is beneficial to limit irritating the gout itself. What I am about to share with you will not only include food but also medicine to help you.

What is causing this rise in younger people with gout?

The main factors that trigger gout are obesity, high intakes of alcohol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

What medication will help with a gout attack?

Medication is a way to manage gout and can be crucial in the turn around time to get you back to normal without having to be in agony! I experienced the full force of gout one early morning and was in excruciating pain until I took some tablets which worked wonders and relieved the pain within a couple of hours. These tablets are Naproxen BP 500 mg (I would highly recommend these.) A key point that I must stress is that you don’t take just any painkiller or other types of medicine as they can do more damage than help! Medicine to stay away from at all costs are diuretics, bendroflumethiazide, chemotherapy medicines and aspirin. The reason these should be avoided is because they will raise the level of uric acid in you and that will only make your situation much worse.

Healthy lifestyle choices
Healthy lifestyle choices

Image via creative commons – Stewart Chambers

How can I reduce the chances of getting gout without taking medicine?

There are a couple of things which you can do to reduce your chances of getting gout. One thing you can do is change your diet and this will make a big difference, especially by cutting out red meat and alcohol. Keeping hydrated is a sufficient way to ensure that there is a reduced risk of crystals forming in the joints. This will in turn lessen gout attacks. Overindulging in sugary and sweetened foods can lead to weight gain which is linked with obesity which is risk factor of developing gout.

Try to eat your five portions per day as this will be key in keeping on track. A secret tip of mine is to eat black cherries/juice as this helps neutralise uric acid. I also have some sort of vitamin C everyday as this lowers uric acid in your blood. Frequent exercise will also give you a lifestyle that will keep you on the right track to stopping gout attacks.

The secret ingredient
The secret ingredient

Image via creative commons – Ton Rulkens

This shows healthy eating is  more popular
This shows healthy eating is more popular

Gout Is Becoming A Young Persons Worst Nightmare

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Image via creative commons – Ali

Gout, one of the most painful medical conditions that anyone can have is usually linked with affecting older people over the age of 40. However gout is now increasingly appearing in younger people!

I have experienced gout on a few occasions and I can tell you first hand that it is incomparable to any other feeling I have had to endure, no seriously, it was. My first encounter with gout happened when I was 19 years old and I genuinely thought that my toe was about to fall off, in fact it would have been a pain relief for me at the time if it did.

Ryan Gaze, 20, recently had his first gout attack and was stunned when he found out because he thought only elderly aged people suffered with this. “The pain in my big toe was uncomfortable and felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly in the same spot, which made it unbearable,” described Gaze.

Symptoms to show that you are experiencing gout.
Symptoms to show that you are experiencing gout.

Image via creative commons – James Heilman, MD

There are more than 2 million men and women that are affected by gout. The trigger to what causes it is uric acid. This acid builds up in the joints and forms crystals, which cause extreme pain and swelling.

Rheumatologist Doctor Robert Harris, the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation says that he used to see this form of arthritis in people over 60. However this is not the case anymore as research shows that more young people are being affected by gout as there has been a 50% increase in gout attacks.

“I’m actually seeing younger patients having more acute attacks of gout,” Dr. Harris said.

Gout is no longer just an older-person’s condition and is now becoming a younger-persons problem as well. Hopefully this will raise awareness and kickstart the campaign in preventing this awful disease from affecting our generation!

<a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gout
<a href=http://delagoutte.blogspot.co.uk/2012_11_01_archive.html

London and Manchester music scene – compared

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Music scene in London
Music scene in Brixton, London

I am a southerner and I will make no qualms in telling you this straight away, so expect there to be some bias when comparing southern and northern towns and cities!

Two of the most iconic cities in the UK are London and Manchester. Other than this, you won’t get much more in common, except for the status both cities respectively hold when talking music.

LONDON. The bravura capital is widely regarded as the place to go to start your music career and become very wealthy (according to some northerners). However, realistically it is just as hard as anywhere else in the UK but if you’re good, you have more opportunities to get yourself noticed. The vibe for music in the capital is a mix of Hip-Hop, Rap, Dubstep and Drum N Bass.

Manchester i.e. the headquarters for ‘hipsters’. This city contains every branch of the alternative music scene that you could possibly imagine. Some genres included are: Rock, Indie, Heavy Metal, Screamo and many more conceptual sounds. If you want to stand out from the general crowd then Manchester is the scene for you!

Two cities that are run by rhythm and fuelled by beats but separated by 199 miles, it really couldn’t be any more different if you tried.

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Image via creative commons – Greg Neate

Image via creative commons – Will Fresch