A VIP Experience at Olympic Park
One of the best things about comping is the chance to win unique prizes and experiences. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, experiential prizes have been few and far between, so I felt extremely lucky that last week my husband and I were able to enjoy the most fantastic day out in London thanks to Wall’s and SportsAid.
In summer this year Wall’s launched a great promotion, awarding a prize of a VIP day out at the Olympic Park every week for 8 weeks. To enter, you just had to buy a promotional pack and enter the code on the Wall’s website. Plus, 50p from every purchase of a promotional pack was donated to SportsAid, a charity that supports more than 1,000 young sports stars every year with funding.
I received a winning email for week 1 of the promotion, back in June, so it was an exciting wait for the big day. Rob and I headed to the Stratford Holiday Inn for 11am on Friday morning, where we met the other winners, the SportsAid team and Jess from Ten Feet Tall (Wall’s PR agency).
Every winner was given a fantastic Reebok sports bag filled with all sorts of goodies – Speedo goggles, Reebok hats and mittens, Nike t-shirts, water bottles, plus SportsAid & Team England masks. I’m giving away some of these goodies in a giveaway – read on for more about that!
We walked over from the hotel to the London Aquatics Centre, where we met Leon Taylor (Olympic Diving silver medallist, and commentator) and Milo French (Walls & SportsAid sponsored 16-year-old diver). Leon took us on a tour of the Centre, explaining how it was cleverly reduced in size after the Olympics so it can be used as a regular pool for local residents.
Leon walked us to the diving pool, and we were invited to climb up to the platforms to check out the view – the 10 metre one was super high and a few of us bravely went right to the end to peer over the edge!
The Diving Lesson
We then had a diving lesson, starting in the dry area, where we could bounce and jump on to trampolines, foam pits and padded cushions before getting wet.
Seven of the winners got our (supportive!) swimwear on, and started with a swim across the pool and back just to make sure we were good enough swimmers. Leon explained that before we could even attempt to dive from a high platform, we had to learn how to jump in properly.
So we started jumping – off the 1 metre platform at first, then up to 3 metres. Leon watched us and gave us some tips, while Milo stood on the platform to encourage us. Here’s a video of my jump off the 3 metre high platform (thanks for filming it @clarateddy)…
Four of us managed to jump off the 5 metre platform, but only Andy continued all the way to 10 metres – he even managed to dive off too, and was applauded by everyone in the pool! A very brave man. Honestly, even though I only jumped from 5 metres it felt like I was falling for ages until I hit the water… and it hurt, too!
After the diving session, we walked over to the London Stadium (now home to my brother’s beloved West Ham United) where we enjoyed a lovely lunch of curry and donuts in a room overlooking the pitch.
Rob and I sat with Leon and Milo, who shared their Tom Daley tales with us! It was also lovely to sit with fellow compers Juliette and Deb. After lunch, Tim from SportsAid did a short interview with Leon and Milo, and it was fascinating to hear them both talk about how helpful yoga had been during lockdown. Please do give @MiloFrench7 a follow on Twitter – he only has 9 followers so far, and who knows – he could be our next Olympic medal winning diver!
In the afternoon we were taken on a tour of the stadium, with a chance to take photos in the dressing rooms and pitch – our tour guide bombarded us with Hammers facts the whole time!
They also have a section of the running track that Usain Bolt won his 100 metre gold medal on, so we had a little practice run. Tim had brought along one of the Olympic torches used in the 2021 relay so we posed for a few photos with that too.
Then it was on to the Orbit! We were incredibly lucky with the weather as the sky was perfect for photos of the London skyline. The view from the top was excellent and you can see how much work is still being done in the Stratford area – there are so many exciting developments. In the photo below you can see the Aquatics Centre without the ‘wings’ which were on for the Olympics.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, Olympic sprinter Christine Ohuruogu suddenly joined us and shared her amazing stories of winning medals at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympic Games. Christine was so inspirational and really fun – it was a real honour to chat to her about my running!
All the winners were presented with a £50 gift card to spend at Westfield, which was a lovely surprise! Then it was slide time… I’d actually been on the Orbit slide before, as I won a ticket to ride it on my birthday back in 2016 when it first opened. You have to wear a padded hat and sleeves, then tuck your feet into a helter-skelter type mat before you whizz off for 40 seconds of fun and screaming.
Dinner at The Cow
Then it was back to check in to the Holiday Inn, and a quick change of clothes. The original plan for the evening was VIP tickets for the Six Day Cycling event at the Velodrome, which unfortunately had to be cancelled. Instead we met at The Cow restaurant for dinner, where we had a special reserved area upstairs. The Sports Aid team joined us, and we were treated to plenty of delicious cocktails, and could order anything we wanted from the menu (plant burger for me!). The VIP Day ended at around 9pm, where we said our goodbyes and then Rob and I headed off for more cocktails and an 80s synth pop night in Hackney Wick!
This was an incredibly generous and well organised day and it was an absolute honour to chat to Olympians about their amazing experiences, and to hear more about the great work that SportsAid does to support young athletes and the UK’s brightest sporting prospects.
I must say a HUGE thankyou to Wall’s, SportsAid and Ten Feet Tall for making the experience so special for the winners. It was certainly a day I won’t forget!
Giveaway! Win a sports goodie bag
As Wall’s were so generous with the gifts in the goody bags I’m doing a special giveaway for SuperLucky readers. If you’d like to win a Nike t-shirt, Reebok hat & socks and some SportsAid & Team England merch in a Reebok gym bag – simply leave a comment below and tell me if you’ve ever been to the Olympic Park! Closing date is 22 November 2021.
One comment per person please. I’ll pick a winner at random, and contact them by email before 26 November 2021 . The giveaway is open to SuperLucky readers worldwide!