Preparations are well under way ahead of a sporting bonanza on the Roodee this Sunday (August 6).
Seven races take place around the infamous Chester Racecourse one mile, one furlong track throughout the afternoon and the first race starts proceedings at 2.05pm.
The 22nd annual Family Funday fixture, which is sponsored by MBNA, also brings athletes of a different kind to the Open Course, where a Festival of Football will unfold. MBNA, in collaboration with long-standing partners Chester FC and Liverpool FC will be looking to revive one of the city’s ancient traditions and hosting a six-a- side knock-out junior tournament between races. The tournament will see teams chosen in advance by Chester FC and Liverpool FC go head to head over the course of the afternoon, in a bid to be victorious. Racegoers are encouraged to stand alongside Chester FC mascot Lupus and cheer on the competitors. Teams will be introduced at 1.20pm and the first game kicks off at 1.40pm.
Director of corporate affairs at MBNA Mark Elliott said: “We’re delighted to be the title sponsors of the MBNA Family Funday, through our sponsorship of Chester Racecourse. With the support of our long-standing partners Liverpool FC and Chester FC, we’ll be bringing football back to the Roodee with some special football matches being played and other fun activities.
“At MBNA, we want to make good stuff happen for our customers, community and our colleagues and so we’re excited to be involved in this fantastic day out for families.”
With less than a week until the new 2017/18 Premier League season begins, the MBNA Festival of Football presents the perfect opportunity to get into the football spirit, simply celebrate the summer holidays, or purely because it’s the weekend! Share your team allegiance by wearing your team’s shirt, there’ll be spot prizes on day for those who have made the most effort and those in full kit! Kids can take part in free football themed activities throughout the afternoon, including human table football, football darts, and penalty shoot-outs. There will also be a face painter on hand and Diddikicks will be providing football coaching sessions for toddlers aged 18 months – five years old.
A limited number of official junior racecards will be available on the day, free with a purchase of an official Chester racecard – whilst stocks last. Racecards are full of fun facts and easy to understand information about the day’s racing - get them before they go as these racecards are sure to become collectors editions! And, there will be the opportunity to hone technique aboard a life-size wooden horse – maybe your little one will one day make it into a Chester racecard.
Flip Out will also be in attendance, providing extra fun for slightly older racegoers. Take a turn on Total Wipeout, the Bucking Bronco or the imposing Toxic Drop! Flip Out will also be hosting a graffiti competition where one lucky racegoer can win a party for up to 15 people and their winning artwork installed at Chester Flip Out. Find out more on the day. The Flip Out Ninjas will be wowing the crowds with their ninja skills and Tyson the resident Flip Out Dinosaur will be doing the rounds, excluding the track!
Local band Yubaba will also be entertaining crowds throughout the afternoon between races.
The MBNA Family Funday highlights how a day at the races can be fun for all the family and fantastic value for money. The Open Course provides a great space for families to get together with a picnic, a gazebo (fee payable of £10 on the gate) and enjoy some summer sunshine – a great start to the summer holidays. Tickets for adults start at just £12 on the Open Course and you can park up for just £11 per car. Car parking pay lanes are open from 8am on the morning and pedestrians can enter the Open Course and pay on the gate at Gates 9 and10. Those with pushchairs can avoid the steps and enter from 11am through Gate 12, underneath the Grosvenor Bridge. All other enclosure gates will open as usual at 11.30am.
Entrance to the Racecourse for Children aged 17 and under is completely free of charge at all Chester race meetings.
There is still time to secure your tickets to this fantastic day. Purchase your tickets online at chester-races.com, over the phone – 01244 304 600 or in person at the Chester Racecourse Box Office. The last posting date for tickets is Wednesday, August 2.
All children’s activities are provided free of charge. Minimum age and height restrictions may apply for some of the activities on offer. Due to the volume of attendees on the Open Course, queues for activities should be expected. Please be aware a dress code is in operation. Football shirts will only be permitted on the Open Course.