IP Information & News

Foam, feathers and fails — summer conference 2019

Some of us are born to win. Others must settle for slipping, sliding and sinking their way to comedy gold. This is 'It's a Knockout' — and there's nowhere to hide for those scared of entering a washing machine filled with foam.

We hope you enjoy some of the highlights, lowlights and controversies from our questionable sporting endeavours at this year's summer conference.

Challenge one: storm the castle

Our contestants' first challenge was to bravely storm a castle armed with nothing but wet sponges...

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Challenge two: giant bird costume race (don't ask)

Next, we went beak-to-beak in a relay-style race — simply squeeze through the window and sit on the tyre to finish...

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For some, this challenge had a rather controversial end, when one bird clearly hadn't listened to the TWO simple instructions.

A case of fowl play? You decide...

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Challenge three: water hat hurdle

By this point, it may be obvious that I can't remember all of the actual challenge names. Anyway, next up: fill your teammates' helmet cups with water and watch them spill it all while climbing over inflatable hurdles. Whichever team collects the most water at the end, wins. Though on this poor evidence, it seems that few of us were successful...

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Challenge four: slide of death

This appropriately-named challenge saw our hapless contestants attempt to climb a slide while covered head-to-toe in foam. Let's just say that no-one made it out of this one looking good...

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...although maybe some better than others.

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Challenge five: washing machine

Personally, this is one innovation that I can't ever see catching on in the consumer market — get your goggles on, enter a washing machine filled entirely with foam and attempt to retrieve the matching socks. Just make sure you don't breathe in...

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Challenge six: tunnel of foam

It all came down to the final challenge, which may have been the most arduous of them all. It sounded easy enough — clamber under the inflatable beam, crawl through a foam-filled (of course) tunnel and collect a coloured ball from the water pit at the end. But several saboteurs with water buckets, one dead-heat between the top two teams and a dislocated finger later, we were forced to reconsider.

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Here we see the iconic 'Athletic Dad' perhaps getting a little too stuck in...

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Despite all our best efforts, there could only be one winning team. Congratulations to Akber Ahmed, Alison Simpson, Louise Rix, Mike Willis, Phillip Groves and Zoe Carpenter, who will forever have a proud place in UDL history.

A huge thank you to The Events Company (@theeventscom) for putting on the day's activity.

We're also pleased to announce that we raised a fantastic £335 for Mind, our COTY, in our raffle during dinner. Another huge thank you to everyone who donated.

Until next year!

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