Wetlands Center in Washington will be holding a puddle jumping contest for the first time ever this weekend.
Participation is free, but entrance fees apply and all the money collected through the admissions will be given to charity, as Wetlands Center is a non-profit organisation.
It is the first time WWT holds this event in the area, although it first appeared last year in a Wetlands Centre in Lancashire.
The event will run from February 13 to 25, with winners of each day being invited for a grand finale to choose an ultimate winner of the North East.
Leanne McCormella, Wetland Centre’s marketing manager, said: “It doesn’t matter if it rains on the day or if it’s windy – the puddle is still there, you gonna get wet anyway. So, it’s just gonna be a really nice thing for families to get involved and do things together.”
Although prize remains unknown and are only promised to be “water-related”, all the participants will be given a sticker.
Before the competition, all the participants will have a chance to train their skills in a special puddle training.
As competitors will be judged on a criteria of enthusiasm, creativity and height of the splash, a megaphone will be used to cheer on them.
Ms McCormella explained the idea behind the event.
She said: “We know that children who love puddles often grow up to be adults that love the outdoors, so through the Big Splash we’re gently nurturing a love that may help protect wetlands and the wildlife that depend on them for years to come.”
The event can’t be booked in advance, so WWT can’t keep a track on how many people are coming. However, puddle jumping contest gets a lot of interest on social media and many families have expressed interest to take part, it is reported.
However, some people, like Lucy Coyne, despite actively attending family-aimed events in Sunderland would not take a part in it, because she “feels this activity is demographically aimed at older children ages”.
With her daughter being 11 months old, she does not think it is suitable for them to attend the puddle jumping contest and she would rather take mother-baby swimming class.