Swindon Town Football Club and it’s Supporters’ Trust have become the latest partners to join forces with The Big Dog Art Trail, in aid of Julia’s House children’s hospice.
The initiative is the UK’s first ever balloon dog art trail, and is a mass participation event that will feature more than 30 super-sized fibreglass dog sculptures, each uniquely designed by an artist and sponsored by a local company or organisation.
The giant ‘Swindog’ creations, erected alongside more than 40 smaller ‘Swinpup’ versions, will be located in some of Swindon’s best-loved landmarks, parks and public spaces, with the County Ground the latest addition to the growing list.
The idea is the brainchild of ‘Wild in Art’, a leading producer of spectacular public art events and creative projects which enrich, entertain, inform and connect communities – giving people of all ages a voice through art.
It’s hoped their latest project will encourage exploration and discovery across the town, bringing smiles to those both young and old.
The partnership with the football club has been labelled a huge coup for the trail, which will be officially opened in Swindon this summer from 15 July to 3 September, raising money for Julia’s House.
The ‘Swindog’ preparing to take pride of place at SN1 will, of course, be football themed, lacing up it’s boots as part of a special design painted by local artist, Steve Curtis and depicting Town hero Don Rogers.
Our Supporters’ Trust will be sponsoring the initiative, with the football club backing the trail with rewards that will feature in the official trail app, such as free tickets to matches and the chance to win a signed shirt.
Robins Chief Executive, Rob Angus, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting The Big Dog Art Trail and really excited that one of the Swindogs will be taking pride of place here at our iconic stadium.
“This is a great initiative that will encourage families to get out and about around Swindon and raise valuable funds for a fantastic charity in the shape of Julia’s House, who do incredible work across our local community.
“I for one cannot wait to see ‘Dog Rogers’ back at the County Ground in a slightly more unorthodox way, which is a great tribute to the man himself and everything he has achieved here.”
Steve Mytton, Chairman of TrustSTFC, commented: “When we heard about The Big Dog Art Trail and in particular, Dog Rogers, we thought it would be a great thing for us to back.
“As a Supporters' Trust, we are very community-driven, and anything that helps the charity and brings families to the County Ground is a good thing in our books.
“We're excited to be a part of this and hope to see many Swindon Town fans out on the trail collecting rewards and supporting such a great cause."
Chris Hyde is The Big Dog Art Trail Project Manager. He said: “Swindon Town and the Trust play such a vital role in the heart of our local community, and to have them sponsor a dog is one of the signings of the season.
“Their support will be important and it will be great to have one of the sculptures at the County Ground during pre-season and start of the new campaign.
“We’re excited to be introducing the ‘Dog Rogers’ design and hope to see as many Town fans out on the trail collecting the rewards as possible.”
At the end of the trail, the ‘Dog Rogers’ sculpture will join all the others at a grand farewell weekend.
The giant, one-of-a-kind creations will then head off to their forever homes after being adopted at a special auction event to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice.