Sparkling spectacle: Sparks sports park opens
Sparkx was introduced to the press on Wednesday under the watchful eye of Hasselt Mayor Stephen Vandeput. It is an indoor amusement park where about 50 sports can be practiced, some of which are based on augmented reality. The doors will open to the general public next Wednesday.
Sparkx is what people call a “sports park”, so it’s a park that combines sports and entertainment. In an area of 3,500 square meters (in the Plaza’H shopping center on the Grote Ring, where Albert Heijn is located, among others), athletes, families, friends, schools and companies can practice more than 50 different sports. And these are not just classic sports like football, basketball, rowing or darts. With the help of technological achievements, you can jump off a cliff in a wingsuit, go fishing, play a virtual game of hado that is very popular in Japan, or compete in a game of dodgeball.
“A healthy sports experience is paramount for athletes of all ages and levels,” says Matthew Rainier, one of the initiators. Entrepreneurs like Stephen Van Belleghem and Peter Hensen, and top athletes like Moussa Dembele, are also backing Sparkx. “The intent is for athletes who go outside after a 1, 2 or 4 hour session to feel better both physically and mentally.” To promote mental health, training sessions will also be offered in meeting rooms for groups of schoolchildren or company employees.
When the doors open to the public on Wednesday, 330 visitors will be able to work out at the same time in the various venues and attractions. “The intention is also for young and old to learn about new sports here,” says Reynier. “If they like it, they can join a sports club in the area to develop their new passion further.”
Sparkx targets individual athletes, who can purchase a ticket per hour. Schools will also be invited to come and sample different sports in class. The business is open for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, corporate events and other group events. Catering options are limited to a healthy selection of drinks and snacks. The entire complex can also be rented, and attractions selected on Monday and Tuesday evenings (for example, curling rink, ice skating screen, shooting range or F1 cockpit) can also be reserved for a certain period.
Mayor Vandeput is happy with Sparkx. “Hasselt wants to be a leader in innovation in Limburg, Flanders and the European region. With the arrival of Sparkx in our city, we are reinforcing this ambition. In addition to innovation, this project is also focused on more exercise and healthy living,” a goal that we as the city council also want to fully support. We hope that many Hasselt residents and non-Hasselt residents will recognize Sparks as an additional attraction in our city.”
Sparkx Hasselt is just the first step for aspiring entrepreneurs. Additional branches are already being considered, in the rest of Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
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