Youngsters from Bristol City’s U23 squad made an appearance in the festival’s Main Arena on Thursday, interacting with supporters and engaging in activities led by the club’s official charity, Bristol City Community Trust.

On Friday, attentions turned to Pat Lam’s Bristol Rugby, with the squad holding an open training session ahead of their pre-season friendly defeat to Bath on Saturday.

The weekend saw Bristol Sport’s ladies teams take centre stage, as members of Bristol City Women, Bristol Flyers Women and Bristol Rugby Ladies were all present at Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, which attracted over 130 balloons from across the globe.

Bristol City head coach, Lee Johnson and assistant head coaches, Dean Holden and Jamie McAllister were also in attendance at Friday’s night glow. 

Pat Lam, Bristol Rugby head coach, said: “We were delighted to play our part in celebrating one of the flagship events on Bristol’s annual calendar.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to meet supporters – young and old – and work closely with the Bristol Rugby Community Foundation to positively promote the club in the region.”

Kris de Scossa, Bristol Ladies head coach, said: “Our players had a fantastic experience demonstrating to a new generation that rugby is a game for all and can be played for enjoyment to the highest levels.” 

Alex Ball, Bristol City U23 coach, said: “As a football club it was great to be part of this year’s Balloon Fiesta. The opportunity it gave our young professionals to interact with the wider community is a big part of their development and it was fantastic to see a different side to them.  The smiles and enthusiasm on the faces of those that took part was a joy to see.”

Gareth Till, Bristol Flyers Ladies head coach, said: “It was a fabulous experience for myself and the players to take part in the festival.

“It was a privilege to represent the Flyers and Bristol Sport and help raise the profile of women’s basketball in the community.”