Former ITV Gladiator and Ilford Sports Club manager invents new sport in his living room
- Credit: Archant
Which sport has been played by Olympic champion runner Mo Farah, World champion gymnast Beth Tweddle, Dame Kelly Holmes and members of Redbridge police?
Resistance sliding may not be the first thing which springs to your mind – but it is the right answer.
The unique sport was dreamt up by former ITV Gladiators star Weininger Irwin, 52, in his Ilford living room.
Weininger was watching TV with his two-year-old son, when he pulled himself across the ground with his arms.
“That was my eureka moment – I had seen him do it before but something just clicked,” he said.
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“I got myself on the floor and gave it a go – crawl, shuffle and sliding is great conditioning for the body.”
The sport has now been given accreditation and will be formally demonstrated at the Redbridge Mini Games on Wednesday May 25 – one of the largest sporting events for primary school children in London – and will be rolled out across schools next year.
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It will also visit neighbouring boroughs Newham and Havering and will be played at a 2,000-capacity event in Crystal Palace.
Weininger, who is co-manager at Ilford Sports Club, Cricklefield Place, Ilford, likened the sport to swimming.
“Everything you find in a professionally-run swimming event, you will find in resistance sliding,” he said.
“With resistance you start, you slide and you touch a sensor that can record you time to a hundredth of a second.
“Not everyone can swim, but everyone can slide.”
Participants glide 13.4 meters on a specially-created mat and try to be the first to reach the end.
Sliding can be played in a variety of positions with moves such as a hamstring slide, lat pull or quad push, or just simply to have fun.
Not only does the sport give you an aerobic workout and target core muscle groups, but it is all-inclusive.
Weininger said a 73-year-old grandma gave it a go as did children with a range of disabilities.
“It’s so great when a child who has a disability can compete without any concessions at all,” he said.
“This sport started out in my living room. It’s a lot of fun, and my body is conditioned by it, but it’s only when you finish you realise it was a bit of a puff.
“After the sessions, some of the leisure centres thank us for shining their floor for them.”