Photo gallery: Broadland heat of Norfolk Village Games at Aylsham High School
PUBLISHED: 16:58 23 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:58 23 June 2013
Indoor rounders lent a new twist to the usual range of activities as the heavens opened and sent contestants scurrying for cover during the Broadland heat of the Village Games at Aylsham High School.
Village teams taking part today were: Aylsham, Spixworth, Horsham and Newton St Faith, Horsford, Cawston Reepham and Booton, Hainford and Stratton Strawless, Halvergate, Hevingham, Rackheath, Weston Longville, and Morton and Attlebridge. Illness meant that Coltishall and Cantley were not represented.
The county-wide games, now in their fourth year, are organised by Active Norfolk, supported by Sport England and the district councils.
Aaron Roberts, rural sports development officer for Active Norfolk in North Norfolk and Broadland, said it had been a fantastic day, despite the odd downpour, with a turnout of at least 300 people, aged eight upwards.
They took part in 11 sports: archery, athletics, badminton, a climbing wall, darts, five-a-side football, a fitness triathlon, rounders, table tennis, tennis, and short mat bowls.
“Attendance is up on last year. People have turned out despite the weather, and they have taken part in the correct spirit. We are here to have fun, get villages out together, and have a bit of friendly competition,” he said.
The games aimed to offer people in rural communities more sporting opportunities. Active Norfolk roadshows visited each village at least three times before the games, drumming up support for the contest and giving residents a chance to try their hands at a few activities.
Among those taking part on Sunday were Clare and Tony Barrell with their sons Harley, 11, and Jack, seven, from Cawston, together with Mrs Barrell’s parents Dennis and Jacky Sugden, from Aylsham.
All had a go at rounders, Mrs Barrell and her sons tried their hands at archery, and the boys also tackled the climbing wall.
Mrs Barrell said she had never heard of the Village Games before learning about them through the boys’ school, Cawston Primary.
“It’s been really, really nice. The kids love it. It brings everyone out. It’s a very good idea,” she said.
Mick Atkins, 46, from Aylsham, was playing goalie in the town’s five-a-side team. It was his first Village Games too.
“It’s great company, you get away from the chores at home, it’s fun, you get exercise and the sun shines - sometimes,” he said.
Regular archer Peter Savory, 12, from Hevingham, heard about the games through social networking sites in his village, signed up for archery and found himself taking part in rounders too.
“It’s been really fun and a great day,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s put Hevingham on the map but it’s given us a good reputation in sport and brought some of us together.”
■ The results were: small village winner: Hainford; runner up Hevingham. Medium village winner: Cawston, Reepham and Booton; r/up Spixworth. Large village winner: Aylsham. They will all go forward to represent Broadland at the county Village Games final, which takes place on July 14 at the UEA Sportspark.
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