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£50,000 in six weeks to stage Hunstanton sports festival

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Organisers of an extreme sports festival have warned the event will be scrapped for good unless they can raise £50,000 in six weeks.

Officials behind the Lifestyles festival have launched an appeal to raise the cash they need to stage the event in Hunstanton later this year. They also need to attract up to 40 new volunteers.

But committee chairman Liz Pendleton admitted the festival would be “dead” if local people and business leaders do not help them reach their target by the beginning of April.

She said: “If we don’t get that, we’re dead in the water.”

Unlike in previous years, when it was run by West Norfolk Council, the festival, last staged in 2012, is now being planned by a committee of volunteers from the Lifestyles Association.

First staged in the resort in 2007, the festival brings together a host of extreme sports including skateboarding, BMX, Parkour, climbing, wakeboarding and kitesurfing, as well as street art and dance performances.

The association says that around 12,000 visitors attended the 2012 festival, which coincided with the Queen’s Diamond Jubiliee weekend.

Organisers and supporters gathered at the Shed skatepark at Lynnsport to kick off the campaign on Wednesday night.

And among them was professional BMX star Matti Hemmings, who is hoping to stage the national BMX flatland championship at the festival this year.

Mr Hemmings travelled from his home in Bristol to perform his skill is and give his backing to the initiative.

Dozens of riders and skateboarders also took to the park’s ramps and rails during the evening and Mr Hemmings said: “All of these guys have got a talent. They should be able to show it.

“It’s a hub for people who want to be creative.”

A supporters’ evening will be held at the Hanse House in Lynn on Thursday, March 6 for people who want to donate or help with the event to get involved. And the committee says it will announce provisional dates for the festival when they have raised half of their target.

Although they are hoping to attract sponsors, and say they are attracting support, they admit they have a long way to go to reach their target.

Miss Pendleton said small donations from individuals who had enjoyed events at the festival in previous years would also go a long way towards securing its future.

She said: “Lots of people will have appreciated great entertainment and the chance to have a go at these sports for free over the last six or seven years. If they found five or 10 pounds to donate, it will help to keep the event alive.”

She added: “If you want this to happen, you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is or get involved.”

For more information, visit www.lifestylesfestival.co.uk

 

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