Hula hoop world record bid as part of Olympic celebrations

RECORD BREAKERS? Councillor Watson (centre) joins staff from EDF Energy's Sunderland customer service centre to officially launch the world record hula hoop attempt on June 16.
RECORD BREAKERS? Councillor Watson (centre) joins staff from EDF Energy's Sunderland customer service centre to officially launch the world record hula hoop attempt on June 16.
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HIPS at the ready for a world record attempt that’s sure to have Sunderland in a twirl.

As part of the city’s Olympic celebrations, plans are under way to send records spiralling – by trying to get more people than ever hula hooping at the same time.

The current record stands at 2,492 people, but hopes are high that Wearsiders can put this effort into the shade during their attempt at Herrington Country Park.

The aim is to get 3,000 hula-hoopers all wiggling at the same time.

The idea was inspired by the Olympic rings and is open to people of all ages and abilities who would like to take part.

The record bid will take place on Saturday, June 16, the day the torch comes to the area, and organisers are hoping that sunshine – and no wind – will help Wearside whirl away with a new record.

Jennifer Martin, 26, of Penshaw is planning to watch, but not take part.

The factory worker said: “It’s a great idea and I know a few people who would like to give it a go. But, I’m not one of them. I would turn out to support them all though.”

Michelle Johnston, 41, of Fence Houses, added: “It’s been years since I hula-hooped. I’d love to give it a go.”

Council Leader Paul Watson said the world record attempt was one way Wearsiders to take part in the city’s 2012 Olympic programme and join in the celebration of the upcoming Games.”

A council spokesman added: “It would be great if there are any local sports or community groups who want to get involved with it.”

The attempt has been launched in conjunction with EDF Energy’s Sunderland customer care centre, whose head, Kevin Gatens, is equally excited.

He said: “Some of our employees have already had a try of the hula-hoops and I’m sure many more will be keen to get involved on the day.”

Sunderland City Council have described the torch’s arrival on Wearside as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and hope to engage 50,000 people in activities to mark the event.

To get involved in the hula-hoop world record attempt, simply download a registration form from www.sunderlandin2012.co.uk or for more information, call 561 4659 or email sunderlandin2012@sunderland.gov.uk.

The Sunderland in 2012 website is not the only place to get hold of an application form. You can also pick one up at any of these locations across the city:

•Bunny Hill Wellness Centre

•Hetton Community Pool and Wellness Centre

•Houghton Sports Centre

•Raich Carter Sports Centre

•Seaburn Centre

•Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre

•Sunderland Aquatic Centre

•Washington Leisure Centre