Activity centre near Worksop is training people how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse

Over the years there have been hundreds of films and television shows about zombies and we have all probably thought about what to do in a zombie apocalypse.

By Shelley Marriott
Thursday, 25th July 2019, 4:01 pm
Pictured is instructor Beth Sutton, centre, with Daniel Quanbrough and Guardian reporter Shelley Marriott
Pictured is instructor Beth Sutton, centre, with Daniel Quanbrough and Guardian reporter Shelley Marriott

Would you run and hide, stay and fight, or would you take the Shaun of the Dead approach and head to the pub and wait for it all to blow over?

However, you don’t need to wonder anymore as an activity centre in Blyth is offering a unique experience with the chance to train for a zombie apocalypse – and I was given the chance to have a go.

The two-hour activity at The Tournament Ground, formerly known as Blyth Activity Centre, on Whitewater Lane, includes axe throwing, crossbow shooting and air rifle shooting.

Pictured is instructor Beth Sutton, centre, with Daniel Quanbrough and Guardian reporter Shelley Marriott

First up was the axe throwing for the small group of me and another couple.

Beth Sutton, from The Tournament Ground, gave us a demonstration and the aim was to throw the axe at a target.

To no surprise to me, my axe throwing wasn’t the most accurate, but I did manage to hit the board, which the target was on, so at least I might have managed to injure the zombies, or at the very least confuse and disorientate them with an axe flying around.

Along with the axe, we also had a go at throwing a small shovel and knives.

Guardian reporter Shelley Marriott throwing an axe

To create a bit of a competition, we moved over to a target which had a zombie’s face painted on – which Beth admitted she has had requests for photos of ex-boyfriends to be stuck on instead.

Our aim was to get as many of our weapons stuck to the board as possible, scoring a point for each one.

I was up first and after my previous performance I wasn’t holding out much hope.

I was given two axes, two shovels and four knives to attempt to kill the “zombie”.

Guardian reporter Shelley Marriott shoots a crossbow

However, I only managed the one point thanks to one of the knives hitting the mark.

Although, the others only managed two and zero points between them, so it wasn’t an embarrassing effort, but I still wouldn’t count on me in a “real-life” zombie situation.

Next up was the crossbow shooting and I have to admit this was the part I had been most looking forward.

Beth again gave us a demonstration on how to safely handle the crossbow and then how to load it and shoot.

I had a go at loading and shooting the crossbow three times.

The first two shots massively missed the mark, and even though my last shot did not hit the target, it did hit the board.

Beth said: “It is a really popular activity, particularly with teenage boys.

“I have to admit though that I’ve never watched The Walking Dead and people tell me stuff about it and I have to pretend and play along.”

Daniel Quanbrough, from Walesby, had been treated to the activity as a surprise for his 30th birthday.

He said: “I have really enjoyed it. It’s been really good.”

A spokesman for The Tournament Ground said: “Our zombie experience is a really fun way to have a taster for how to throw an axe, how to shoot an air rifle with on-point precision and how to use a crossbow safely and hit those bullseyes.

“All three activities are fully instructed with one of our fun and friendly instructors – we like to keep the same instructor with the group for the full two hours, so we can get to know the group and the banter can really flow.

“It is a huge hit with groups of friends as we run a competition with each element.

“Even those who claim that they are not competitive find themselves getting stuck in and striving to win.”

The sessions run for two hours and pricing starts at £25 per person, with discounts available for large groups.

Slots run from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 5pm each day.

As well as zombie apocalypse training, other things on offer at The Tournament Ground include bushcraft, tractor driving and farmer Olympics activities such as a tractor pull and tyre relay.

The activity is great fun, even though I still don’t feel I’d be any use if there was a real zombie apocalypse – if there was a real one, in the words of Shaun of the Dead, “I’m off to the pub to wait for this to blow over”.

To book, call The Tournament Ground on 07897 118786.