HUUB Events has teamed up with Cricket Derbyshire to hold a brand new sporting event in the city.
Oktober-Vest will be held at Derbyshire County Cricket Club and the neighbouring Racecourse Park on Saturday October 1 and is designed to encourage more men, of all ages, to increase their activity, fitness and health.
Entries are open to boys and men of all ages with three distances to choose from: 2.5km (one lap) 5km (two laps) or 10km (four laps) which can be decided by individuals on the day.
The event will raise money for MIND which is one of the charities supported by Cricket Derbyshire Foundation.
This is in recognition that one in eight men suffer from mental health issues in the UK, a figure which is even higher amongst professional cricketers. Oktober-Vest will show the positive effects of increased exercise on both mental and physical well-being.
The event will also be attended by several organisations, including Livewell, with health checks, information and advice available on a wide range of issues surrounding physical and mental health as well as a range of food, drink and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
HUUB Events Director Dean Jackson explained the importance of Oktober-Vest: “Our aim is to get more men in Derby and Derbyshire active which is crucial for physical and mental health.
“There are a wide range of sporting events and challenges organised across the city and county but it can be daunting for men in particular to put on the running shorts or cycling lycra for the first time and take the plunge in public.
“Oktober-Vest is therefore designed to be the men’s equivalent to ‘Race for Life’ which has been instrumental in encouraging women to get active and then challenge themselves further in other sporting events.
“Men of all ages are welcome to join in for a morning that we hope will be a challenge but also a lot of fun.
“Everyone will wear the signature vest to get into the spirit and complete whatever distance at whatever speed they want.
“Nobody will be timed or be competing for a trophy. Instead we will all proudly wear the finishers’ medal and meet for a welcome free pint of beer to highlight that everything, in moderation, is good for you!
“I hope that it will show men who may not have been that active in the past just what a buzz you get from completing a sporting challenge and encourage them to progress onto other more demanding events that are planned for the rest of the month and beyond.
“Our vision is that Oktober-Vest will become an annual event both in Derby and elsewhere in the UK to focus on men’s health, bring the whole family out to support their efforts and raise a lot of money for local charities.”
Andrew Bowley is Head of Cricket Derbyshire Foundation which was set up three years ago to deliver cricket programmes and wider community projects benefiting health, education and social inclusion across the city and county.
He explained that there was a proven yet often unspoken link between professional cricket and mental health with some high profile individuals speaking out about their own experiences including Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick, Monty Panesar and Graeme Fowler who are all now Professional Cricket Association (PCA) mental health ambassadors.
Mr Bowley said: “We were very keen to get involved in Oktober-Vest to encourage more men to get active and to support and raise awareness of mental health issues.
“There are many high profile players and retired players who have spoken out about their experiences of mental illness.
“There is a great deal of pressure on individuals to perform as bowlers and batsmen. Professional players, particularly international cricketers, spend long periods away from home.
“The very nature of the sport means that there is intense camaraderie during the season and then often a sense of isolation during the winter months.
“And players at the top of their game have a relatively short career – retiring at a young age and then faced with daunting future career prospects.
“All these factors mean that mental health issues are prevalent within the sport. We hope that, by hosting this great new event at the 3aaa County Ground – we can open up the discussion amongst the sport at amateur and professional levels and the wider community to break down the taboos.”
Entry for Oktober-Vest is £15 per adult, £8 for U12’s and a ‘Dads and Lads’ entry for £20.
Visit www.huubevents.com/oktober-vest to enter and for more information