Virtual event will celebrate Doncaster people who have beaten alcohol and drug addictions

People from across the world are competing in the Doncaster Recovery Games which celebrates people who have overcome addiction.

By Laura Andrew
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:12 am

The Doncaster Recovery Games, one of the UK’s largest events celebrating the successes of people who have beaten alcohol and drug addictions, will have an international flavour when it returns this month in a new virtual format.

Organised by Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service, which is managed by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) in partnership with Hull based charity The Alcohol and Drug Service.

The games’ games grand finale will take place online - via zoom - on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

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The games will be virtual this year.

It will start at 1.30pm and run until 5pm.

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Aspire senior day programme lead, Neil Firbank, said: “This is the seventh Recovery Games and Covid-19 has forced us to move away from our normal annual setting at Doncaster’s Hatfield Activity Centre, where teams have gathered to compete against each other in a day of gladiator style games and obstacle courses.

“This year will still involve physical endurance plus mental agility and fun, the key difference being that each team will compete on its own turf and record their activities on a special website, with the highlights being shown at the grand finale.

“It’s virtual, but it will still be highly competitive as every one of the teams taking part is desperate to earn points, as they make prizes.

“We reckon the 23 teams will collectively have around 500 people involved, plus supporters, so the grand finale is expected to have a big, potentially world wide audience.”

The event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

This year the games will be virtual - there are 22 British teams taking part and teams from all over the world including one from Bosnia.

Teams all must complete five rounds of detailed challenges in their home towns or cities before coming together virtually for a grand finale showcase to determine the winners.

Aspire manager, Stuart Green, said: “We have continued to provide drug and alcohol treatment solutions to Doncaster people throughout the pandemic by adapting our way of working to enable our colleagues and clients to stay safe and have now done the same for the Recovery Games.

“After cancelling last year;s event we were determined not to have to do so again in 2021, so I’m really excited to see how the 23 teams have fared in this new virtual format.”

The event will be hosted from Canada by Peter Pula and Yvonne Hollandy from Axiom News, an organisation which actively promotes community building and engagement activities around the world.

The teams involved are currently working through five rounds of tasks they have been set.

They need to complete them by Tuesday, September 28.

Rounds include a quiz, walks, a scavenger hunt, a rowing challenge and a task where former addicts are asked to share their personal stories.

The best themed team will get 100 extra points.

Teams in previous years have dressed up as the Flintstones, Pirates of the Caribbean and the cast from Grease.

The overall winner will receive the converted Recovery Games trophy and a cash prize of £250, with the runner up and third placed receiving £150 and £100 respectively.

In addition, trophies will be given to the winner of each of the five rounds.

Tim Young, chief executive of the Alcohol and Drug Service, said: “It is fitting that Recovery Games 2021 are taking place in September, which is National Recovery Month, with this year’s theme being ‘Recovery is for everyone: every person, every family, every community.’

“The solidarity and inclusiveness of the games underlines this message so well.

“The teams may not be competing at the same venue but they are united by knowing that everyone’s journey is different, but we are all in this together.”

You can watch the games here.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction problems please visit the Aspire website here or ring 01302 730956.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.