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Interview: Ross Williams of 8th Day Adventure Sports

By London_Duncan Last edited 119 months ago
Interview: Ross Williams of 8th Day Adventure Sports
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Ross got in contact with us to let us know that the registration deadline for the UK Dodgeball Championships (whole teams only) had been extended until Friday. While we had him around we thought we'd ask him a few questions about his adventure sports club, 8th Day.

Tell us what 8th Day is all about.

It's a sport and adventure club for people who want to make the most of their free time. It's very much aimed at the fun end of activities, though caters for all levels of experience. We organize loads of events for our members, including sports after work in the evenings and lots of weekends away, and the occasional holiday. Activities have included walking with

wolves, poledancing, micro-lighting, motorcross and loads more...pretty much anything and everything you can think of! There's also a pretty good social side to the club too. Membership is £12 a month.

How did you come to start the club and where did the name come from?

I'd been in London a fair few years, and wanted to start my own company doing something I really enjoy. It dawned on me that as my own friends started to drift all over London and beyond, and got promoted and worked longer hours, it was really hard to get people together for sports or weekends away, so I thought there had to be others in the same boat as

me...and so the idea for the club came about. The name came about because I've always wanted a religious cult. Not really, it came about because we thought we really needed an extra day in the week to fit everything in, but with the club all that time to find out about things and organize them is taken care of for you.

Can anybody come along to your events?

Yes. We are a members club, but anybody can come along to one event to try us out, and see if they like what we’re all about. We also have socials on the first Wednesday of each month so that people can come to an informal night in a pub just to make sure we're normal people just looking to make the most of our spare time.

What are the benefits of joining the club and how much does it cost?

Well, it's only £12 a month, and we don't hold you to any set length of membership. As a member you can of course come to any events you like, and many of these (especially the holidays) come with a great discount of the normal price as we're in a big group. We also have a range of discounts with various other companies, particularly activity shops.

We first heard about you through last year's UK Mobile Phone Throwing

Championships. Will you be doing that again this year?

Definitely. It's due for August at the moment, and we're just waiting to confirm things with a sponsor - unless there are any other companies out there who might be keen?!

What events have you got coming up in the near future?

Well, it's a busy time coming up with all the bank holidays, so apart from dodgeball this weekend we've got an Easter break in Snowdonia (scrambling, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and riding), the first May Bank Holiday in the Lake District (hiking up Scafell Pike, a high ropes course and various watersports on the lake) and then to Cornwall at the end of May for

some surfing, diving, hiking and maybe even snorkeling with basking sharks if the timing's right! In addition we've got a poker night, a learn to sail course, a rollerskiing day and a Treasure Hunt.

What's the most unusual event 8th Day has ever staged?

Um, Mobile Phone Throwing? And underwater ice hockey was pretty unusual and great fun.

Does anybody ever get hurt?

Mentally or physically?

Either!

We get the odd cut or bruise on some of the activities, but so far thank goodness nothing too serious. With many of the more technical activities we use third party suppliers who are then equipped to deal with any other injuries should they occur.

What are the most popular events?

The weekends away definitely, and no one in particular. A lot of our members just want to get away somewhere different for the weekend. The coastal ones are always popular, and the annual ski trip had over 30 of us this year.

What is your ideal day out in London?

A run around Richmond Park really early in the morning (though I'm not a morning person, but nice if you can be bothered!), then a mid-morning coffee and cake on Northcote Road in Clapham Junction. Assuming this is a dream day and I recover instantly from the run, then I'd be up for a bit of touch rugby on Hyde Park, before tea (again!) at the Ritz. Then ready for the

question below....

And your ideal night out?

A massive steak dinner with loads of mates and free-flowing red wine, whereby it somehow turned out to be a house-party that went on 'til dawn...

What advice, if any, would you give to the Mayor of London?

I could go on forever here. Please stop endlessly finding new ways to tax us, then looking ever so smug about it all the time. And as a cyclist, I'm convinced there should be less buses about - half seem to be empty and give off a ridiculous amount of pollution.

Last Updated 30 March 2007