Europe’s First Ever Competitive Relaxing Event Is Happening In London This Month

Whether it’s the constant rainy weather, the rising cost of – well – everything, or the to-do lists that have become so long, they could basically be classed as novels; it’s no surprise that most of us Londoners are a just a little bit highly strung. A March 2023 study revealed that nearly half of British workers are at risk of burnout, so it’s time to add an extremely important item to that ever-growing to-do list of yours: RELAX.

That’s right, stressful times call for extreme relaxation, so let me formally introduce you to Europe’s first ever competitive event entirely dedicated to relaxing: the Extreme Relaxing UK Championships. Yes, I’m being completely serious and yes, I’m delighted that a sport I’m so passionate about is finally being taken seriously.

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Pioneered by leading sports psychologist, Dr Jamie Barker, this inaugural sporting event will take place at the Oval on August 20 as the culmination of years of research around relaxation. Scientific studies reveal that work-related stress is a significant issue for the UK economy and it’s this issue that has driven Dr Barker, who has a particular research interest in stress, wellbeing and mental health, to design the Extreme Relaxing UK Championships.

Measured scientifically across three rounds, thirty burnt-out Brits will go head-to-head to be crowned the ultimate relaxer in the UK. The competitors will be tested for the speed at which they can reach relaxation, and their ability to recover from stressful surprises. I just knew that all my days spent in bed, watching Netflix and stuffing my face with choccy biscuits would come in handy one day.

Young woman relaxing on sofa
Credit: fizkes, Shutterstock

The event has received backing from a number of leading experts in the health sector and has secured sofa-in-a-box company, Snug, as their title partner. Head of Brand at Snug, Lauren Hannifan, commented: “it’s unusual for a sofa maker to get involved in a sports partnership but when we saw Dr Barker’s plans for the Extreme Relaxing Championships, we were super keen to get involved. With so much of the nation burned out, adding a competitive edge to relaxing is the antidote we all need. It’s incredibly exciting.”

The event will be broadcast and hosted by esteemed sports broadcaster, Seema Jaswal, who has fronted World Cup, Snooker, and Premier League coverage.

So, if you think you have the will-power (or should I say chill-power) to go all the way in the relaxation championships, you can sign up here. On your marks, get set, aaand relax (you certainly don’t need to tell me twice).

Aerial view of The Kia Oval Cricket Ground from helicopter.
Credit: Gagliardi Photography, Shutterstock

The first Extreme Relaxing UK Championships take place on the 20th August at the Kia Oval and applications are open until midnight on August 15.

Find out more here.

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