n good form, many local children and adults drop their cyberspace commitments and slide into novel and brightly decorated billy carts for the annual Upwey Billy Cart Races. Competing in the novelty race was one of The Foothills writers, Mrs Claus aka Bernadete Dimitrov ‘Australia’s First Official Mrs Claus’ who was delighted to have onlookers cheering and laughing as she competed in her Christmas decked out billy cart in one of her custom designed costumes. “Laughter is a great way to bond too” said Mrs Claus.
As well as the fun of billy cart racing, Main Street in Upwey each year comes alive with street performers such as stilt walkers, bands and face painters and there are even Harley rides on offer too! Community group stalls from Upwey include the Scouts, RSL and the Primary school. A dedicated committee of volunteers work hard to make this one of the most unique fun community events in the hills. Visitors are attracted from all over Victoria each year. Check out this website for details for next year’s event UpweyBillyCartRace.com and visit UpweyBillyCartRace2011.blogspot.com to see great images of the many varied and creative billy carts at this year’s event.
Overall, outdoor recreation for families, whether billy cart races or cricket, hockey or tennis for example, provides some great health benefits. It’s good for the body and mind whether young or old. It assists in reducing stress and tension as well as enhancing confidence, creativity and self-esteem. It magically bonds a family because of the coming together and sharing of an activity. It creates valuable and often cherished memories as days goes by.
It provides social benefits too like bonding not only within a family but within the community at large too. Plus getting involved in an outdoor activity can be cost effective compared to other more expensive family activities. So why not get started outdoors this year with your family. If you are not ready to participate in a sporting activity, you could a the very least go along as a family to a community outdoor event, take a picnic and still get the bonding benefits and cherished memories of quality time spent together!