Week two brings new sport experiences to Rio 2016

While athletics takes centre stage during the second week of Rio 2016, those fans who fancy a more hands-on experience can take advantage of a number of different interactive sport experiences at various Games venues.

Picture by AIBA

A total of 15 International Federations (IFs) are offering activities to give Olympic Games fans a taste of the competitions and this week, those with tickets for the canoeing events will get the chance to take the paddle.

Following the success of the rowing activities offered during the first week of the Games at Lagoa, there will be similar opportunities for those wishing to try their hand at canoe sprint during week two.

Between 300 and 400 people tried rowing on each competition day, and there were also special coupons available for young people to take to their local rowing club across Brazil, with the bonus of free membership up to the age of 13.


Sheila Stephens Desbans, World Rowing Federation (FISA) Development Manager, said: “The Brazilian Rowing Federation in coordination with Rio 2016 and World Rowing have had a very successfully sports experience initiative. The venue allowed spectators who were coming in to watch racing to try out rowing on either a rowing machine or a water tank. We think that this type of grassroots sports initiative combined with an Olympic experience is very special – we have heard of some other great ideas from the other sports and really hope this leaves a good legacy for Rio and Brazil with its active population.”


At Riocentro, spectators can try out their badminton skills, with two coaches on hand to explain the rules. Nearby, a mini-boxing ring will be open until the end of the Games where fans can try inflatable boxing gloves.

Anyone keen to try their hand at volleyball has until 20 August to get a ticket to Deodoro where there are three mini courts and instructors. 

Weightlifting activities will take place until 17 August and the one-ton mechanical horse simulator at the equestrian centre will be available until 21 August.

“These in-venue initiatives add great value to both the spectators as well as the sports and federations themselves,” said Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director. “When it comes to spectators, it provides them with an opportunity to tangibly experience and learn about each sport. For the respective sports and IFs, it represents a valuable opportunity to be able to promote their sport with the national and international public, raise awareness about ways to get involved in the post-Games phase and leave a legacy of participation for the host nation.”