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Tamworth Snowdome Swimming Pool

Time to give some feedback on the boys favourite weekend activity this year. Tamworth Snowdome Swimming pool has a new inflatable obstacle course and the boys absolutely love it. Imagine the Wipeout course scaled down to fit the Tamworth Snowdome pool. There’s climbing, balancing, leaps across obstacles and then a big slide back in to the deep end of the pool with a splash landing.

I couldn’t find any photographs of the course on line to add to this post. It has an arctic theme including a giant abominable snowman.  In between there are glaciers to climb, and some giant swinging snowballs to duck or avoid. Unsurprisingly one or all of us don’t always make it across, but that just makes the whole thing even funnier.

The boys are already big fans of the pool. There’s a flume and three different areas for babies, smaller children, and the main pool itself. George has recently just grown tall enough to play on the flume, 1.1m and so the pair of them can move between each of the areas independently. The inflatable course and some extra floats come out at the weekend for an inflatable session. tamworth snowdome

The three of us all race onto  at the obstacle course at the same time.  Usually at least one of us will fall on the climbing wall at the very start. George and James will do their best to give me a decent nudge at this point ( because I make the biggest splash!) Then we’re off between the legs of the giant abominable snowman, and under the swinging inflatable snowballs. This requires us to get flat out on our stomachs and wiggle forwards. Finally its up the wobbly inflatable steps at the end… and a big drop into the deep end of the pool.

This term James is swimming with school which has really boosted his confidence, in and out of the pool. I remember from my school days that swimming lessons with school friends can be pretty daunting if you’re not a confident swimmer. Thankfully because he’s also jumping on and off of the inflatable obstacle course in the Snowdome pool, he appears to have developed a lot faster, and this seems to have paid dividends from his description of the swimming lessons.

There’s also an added bonus for me.  The prospect of getting into the pool with the boys has spurred me on to watch my weight and fitness a little be more that I had done in January this year. Whilst it’s mostly families in the pool, I’m still keen to avoid being looking like the unfit dad. A couple of cheeky evening runs have started to appear in my diary, and this week I’m aiming to take my kit to work with me for a couple of lunchtime runs as well.

The Snowdome has a helpful site with plenty of information about all of it’s facilities including Snowboarding, skiing, gym, and ice-skating if you want to find out more.

Tamworth Snowdome Swimming Pool

The Dad Blogging Community

As I start my blogging new year I thought I’d start by promoting some of the amazing blogs in the dad blogging community.

I first started blogging to keep a journal of the time I spent with my two boys at weekends after I had separated. A few quick searches revealed very few dad blogs. Google mostly redirected me to Mumsnet and the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. I thought that it was going to be a one-sided experience with a limited audience, but as time has passed I was really pleased to uncover an enormous community of dads blogging, but at the time there was far less promotion and exposure.

Recently I read a great article on the blog that accompanies The Money Shed about working from home and how it separates the sexes. Jon at The Money Shed asked why it was that there were so few men working from home compared to women, including blogging, affiliates, and marketing content. The conclusion was that being a mother was more likely to mean being at home and being more suited to the work-from-home environment. Another reason that I’ve often heard is that a mother and particularly pregnant women are more likely to be spending more, and are targeted for marketing, product reviews, and promotion by brands. My own experience is that women are much better at networking and communicating, two of the most important skills in keeping the momentum behind a good blog, and building a community.

After putting up the blog and my initial posts I joined twitter as @weekendparent1. Every basic blogging guide tells you that social networking is the best way to engage with your audience, and this brought me to  @Onedad3Girls, @DadWhoBlogs, @FloydUK and @DiaryoftheDad. I soon realised that I was in good company with lots of regular blog content and even a shared podcast.

As far as forums go the dad blogging community has lovealldads.co.uk; offering a showcase of dad blogs, and blogging awards for bloggers in the dad community. It’s not the only UK dad blogging network but so far it’s one of the most popular I’ve found, promising a dad blogging festival in 2015, which will be an incredible experience.

As I’ve spent more time on twitter I’ve found that the US dad blogging community is already very well established with lots of good ideas for UK dad bloggers. Personally my favourite thing about US dad bloggers is the sheer diversity of content, such as the divorced and single dads who are blogging and tweeting; experiencing fatherhood through a slightly different perspective.

I could happily spend the entire evening singing the praises of other dad blogs that I’ve enjoyed following including ideas4dads.net and  papatont.com. With a growing community and even a dad regularly appearing on Britmums in @dadblogUK it seems like there’s a growing audience for dad bloggers in their own right, so watch this space!

The Gate Gallop

Each year the boys and me  visit the Gate Gallop running event in Tamworth. This year the Gate Gallop takes place on the 28th June 2015 and as always includes families, and first timers, as well as serious athletes. There are various races that take place during the day including a 10k race, fun run, and children’s run. All events are traffic free and off road. There is a bbq throughout the day with refreshments, a  bouncy castle and much more. The event takes place at:-

Anker Valley Sports Complex, Amington, Tamworth B77 3AX

Funds raised by the event are donated to local charity St Giles Hospice Registered Charity No. 509014 Marshalls for the event are provided by local club runners from Peel Road Runners.

peel road runners

 

 

 

James and George enjoy running and love taking part in the event. There is a small entry fee but they get a finishers medal and goody bag for their hard work. There is always a lovely atmosphere at the event with everybody encouraging each other on. Start Times: Children’s  9.45am, Fun Run (4.4k) 10.15am, 10k Race 11.15am Parking, Showers and Changing: Available, free at venue. First Aid: Mercia EMA will be on hand around the course and at the finish.

The Gate Gallop
The Gate Gallop