Browser does not support script.

News article

The first ever YSJ Community Festival to offer a free day of fun-filled activities for all ages

Published: 09 May 2024

A student painting another student's face with flowers

York St John University is delighted to announce the inaugural YSJ Community Festival taking place 10am to 4pm, Saturday 8 June at our Sports Park on Haxby Road in York. This free event is open to all and packed full of activities for all ages. 

The University is teaming up with community partners from across the city to offer a full programme, all for free. Active fun is at the heart of the day with a wide range of sports taster sessions including archery, wheelchair rugby, football and tennis, plus a climbing wall and assault course. There will also be more relaxed activities such as Tai Chi tasters, open sessions with Rowntree Bowls and older people’s fitness with Move It or Lose It.   

There’ll be a chance to learn more about university life with Let’s do Uni, led by York St John student ambassadors. Alongside this our academics will offer a showcase of some of the world-class sports science research that takes place at the University’s Sports Park.  

The day also includes live music, arts and crafts, face painting and gardening sessions with our award-winning grounds team. This is all offered for free, but you must book a main event ticket and then book onto any of the workshops and taster sessions. Please note that places are limited. To keep your energy up for the full programme, food and drink can be purchased at an array of food trucks.

Dr Rob Hickey, Chief Operating Officer, York St John University, said:

“The University is deeply committed to our local community and we’re launching the YSJ Community Festival as a new way of connecting with people and giving something back. We’re delighted to be welcoming residents, students, staff and alumni for what promises to be a vibrant and memorable day for all.   

“The festival has a truly inclusive and inspiring programme that’s been designed to offer something for everyone regardless of age or ability, and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of new faces who’ve never visited the Sports Park before. My thanks to all our community partners who’re joining us to make this day possible.”  

Adam Prentis, York RLFC Foundation Delivery Manager, said:  

“The University's support has been vital in the growth of our Men's and Ladies' first teams, as well as York RLFC Foundation events. As committed members of our community, we have strived to achieve success both on and off the field and are dedicated to making sports accessible to all. 

“The facilities have been great for our training, festivals, matches and a diverse range of programmes. On the day of the Community Festival, members of our Rugby League Wheelchair team will be present to provide an opportunity for the public to experience the sport." 

Dave Shaw from York Archers said:

“The club is very excited to be able to contribute to the YSJ Community Festival and show people that varied and accessible sports, such as archery, are available on their doorsteps.   

“Archery is one of the oldest sports in the world, and if you didn't practice on a Sunday in 1409, you'd get six days in prison. We've been a casual archery club in York since 1833, 11 years before the formation of the Grand National Archery Society (think the FA but for archery) in York in 1844, and 67 years before archery was first at the Olympics (archery also being the first sport to allow women to compete in 1904).   

“York has a long connection with the modern sport, and we'd love to see more people get involved, whether for fun or competition.”  

Marc Potter, Kixx Operations Director, said:

“At Kixx our goal is simple: To have a positive impact on every child at every opportunity. We do this through an innovative programme which offers a high energy, fun, age-appropriate introduction to physical activity through football.   

“Our sessions provide a fun, playful, safe environment which encourages children to develop a positive sense of themselves, respect for others, a positive disposition to learn new skills, and a sense of pride in their ability to master them.

"We're eagerly anticipating the opportunity to help the local children of York make friends, have fun, and play football on the 8th of June.” 

Booking is via Eventbrite until Friday 7 June 2024

Read more on our Events for alumni pages


Contact us

Communications team

York St John University, Lord Mayors Walk, York, YO31 7EX

01904 876 466

To contact us out of hours, phone 07812 365 499