Remember Wallball? (If you’re a certain age, you might remember the game as ‘handball’). Arguably the most accessible sport for schools, parks and leisure centres, all it requires is a wall, a ball and two players. It’s great fun for all ages but don’t be fooled… The elite level of the sport – which is expected to feature in the 2028 Olympic Games – is hotly contested across the world and requires agility, power and dexterity.
Following last year’s success, Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Westway Trust, is hosting an International Wallball Festival from Saturday February 23 to Tuesday February 26. Over the weekend, some of the world’s best wallball players – including the current World Champion, Conor Mcelduff and Great Britain’s number one, Luke Thomson – will battle for glory. These world-class games are free to spectators who can marvel at the sheer speed and skill of this game which has been compared to playing squash without the rackets.
Following the competition, two schools’ events are taking place with over 200 youngsters taking part in workshops over the two days with international professional players coaching them. On the Monday, primary school children will come and give the game a go and be taught the fundamental skills. On the Tuesday, secondary school children will take part in demonstrations, workshop and masterclasses, supported by the Jack Petchy Foundation which aims to give teenagers and young adults from deprived backgrounds the opportunity to play. A highlight of the Tuesday will be seeing Conor Mcelduff play against Luke Thomson to demonstrate their world-class skills.
Westway Sports & Fitness Centre boasts seven full-size Wallball courts, as well as four top quality Fives courts. As opposed to regular Wallball which is played against one wall, a Fives Court has three walls with a partly raised area of the playing surface. The Fives courts are open throughout the week with adult Pay and Play sessions free for the first session. Junior pay and play sessions for ages 7 to 16 run on Saturdays and Tuesday. The Wallball courts are available for adults on Tuesdays from 20:00-22:00. For more information please visitwww.everyoneactive.com