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Getting Olympic fever?

Forget London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 – SWRI is about to host its own unique celebration of sport.

The eyes of the world will be on London when it hosts the 2012 Olympics this week, but in parts of Scotland the event will barely even be acknowledged. For a far more important – although admittedly slightly less strenuous – sporting event is about to take centre stage. The Scottish Women’s Rural Institutes is gearing up to hold the national final of its Ruralympics – a sports tournament that pits members against each other in a battle of skill and dexterity.

Ruralympics is held every two years, and this year’s final takes place at Bells Sports Centre, Perth on October 6, 2012. Some of the more unusual sports included in Ruralympics are magnetic and Velcro darts, beanbag throwing, skittles, hoola-hoop passing, indoor putting, hockey dribbling, basketball and football.

Isobel Robertson, national chairman of SWRI, says Ruralympics has become a firm favourite with members up and down the country. She adds, “Ruralympics may not boast the same household names and international athletes of London 2012, but the event has just as much excitement and a brilliant atmosphere.

“Many of our members are very proficient sportswomen, but the aim of Ruralympics is to allow members of all abilities to come together and take part in sports and activities in a fun and social way. Some teams will win, some teams will lose, but everyone has lots of laughs along the way.”

Finalists will be whittled down following a series of inter-institute heats taking place across the SWRI’s 33 Federations from Shetland to Wigtownshire. Each Federation is able to submit one team of four members.

Ruralympics is open to spectators, and members of the public and travelling supporters are welcome to attend and help cheer their favourite team to victory.

SWRI is one of the biggest women’s groups in Scotland, with around 20,000 members nationwide. It celebrates its 95th anniversary this year and although it has modernised and adapted since its launch in 1917, it still keeps its principles of friendship, fun and learning at its core. Members meet once a month at their local institute and take part in activities ranging from crafts to country dancing. SWRI also offers members the opportunity to pursue their interest in sports, with regular walking groups, and bowling, curling and gold tournaments.

For further information about the SWRI, visit telephone headquarters on 0131 225 1724, or email SWRI also has its own Facebook page and is active on Twitter, @ScottishWRI


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