ORGANISERS of the World Alternative Games are jetting off to Finland this weekend in a bid to take the Llanwrtyd Wells-based whacky sporting event to an international audience.
A delegation from the organising committee will be staying with Jaana Malkki of the Local Action Group, Karhuseutu, which promotes tourism.
Karen Perkins, Gordon Green and Peter Brown are making the trip to discuss joining forces with Finland and Bulgaria to boost the profile of weird and wonderful sports.
Joining the trio from Llanwrtyd Wells is a team of three from the One Wales Local Action Group, to explore similar opportunities.
While there, they will discuss plans for a transnational co-operation project between this year and next, designed to support and promote events in each participating country. It is hoped that representatives from Estonia, Norway and Germany will be joining the group in the near future.
They will also attend the World Ice Lawn Mower Championships in Lavia on Saturday, as guests of the organisers.
“This is all very exciting, and I’m really looking forward to a productive weekend, and a fun one too,” said Karen Perkins.
“It’s a big thrill that the World Alternative Games has been recognised the way it has around the world, and this is another great example of how our event has put Wales, Powys, and Llanwrtyd Wells on the international map as a destination to visit.
“Like us, there is a big enthusiasm for alternative sports in Finland and Bulgaria, and in the other countries that have expressed an interest.
“We want to pool our enthusiasm, ideas and experience to put on a truly international event, culminating in Llanwrtyd Wells next August for the fourth World Alternative Games.”
Karen also spoke of how much the events have grown since they were first born in 2012 as an alternative to the London Olympics. They will next be held from August 10 to 27, 2018, for what the organisers hope will be the biggest Games yet.
Karen added: “Once again, we had fantastic response last year, bringing hundreds of people to Llanwrtyd Wells for days, for weekends, and in some cases for weeks and more.
“It is wonderful that our profile continues to spread around the world, and being invited to link up with like-minded off-beat sport enthusiasts around the world is a marvellous opportunity to put on a truly international event.
“We are all extremely excited at the possibilities this opens up for Llanwrtyd Wells, and for Wales.”