Norfolk teams set to fight for village victory
Archant © 2014
As the Village Games final approaches – we meet three more of the teams who will be battling for victory on Sunday.
Scole and Dickleburgh
The Scole and Dickleburgh team managed to qualify for the finals despite being the first time the two villages had played together.
Previously, Scole and Dickleburgh entered separate teams to the Norfolk Village Games, under the co-ordination of Ian Constance and Trevor Leeder respectively, but the villages have now joined forces under the direction of Andy Taylor.
And the 25-strong team will attend this Sunday’s county finals at the UEA having finished second in the Medium Villages category during the south Norfolk heats.
Mr Taylor, who used to be in the Diss team, said he agreed to take on the co-ordinator role after Mr Constance and Mr Leeder were unable to continue.
“It is a really good way to get to know people. I am just happy to be part of the community and have some fun just playing some sport together,” he said.
He said he needed two under-16s and two adults for the athletics team, as well as male and female competitors for the badminton and some table tennis players.
Anyone who wishes to be involved can call Mr Taylor on 07519 750686.
The team from Hopton has been taking part in the Village Games for four years running and boasts a 25-strong squad.
Members mainly come from Hopton Primary School, with sporting youngsters making up a tag rugby and a rounders team.
David Helsdon, team organiser for the past three years, said the school was a huge supporter of the Games with pupils, parents and teachers all getting involved. The village also has an adults football team which will be vying for victory at the county finals.
Barry Bailey and son Mackenzie, nine, are members of the team who took part in the regional heats last month.
Mr Bailey’s wife, Theresa, watching from the sidelines, said: “They couldn’t wait to take part.
“It’s nice to get together with other people from the village and it’s nice to see the same people from last year.
“Hopefully as it carries on, more and more people will take part.”
The team from Long Stratton will be hoping to go one better than last year when they take a 40- strong team to the county finals.
Last year, the south Norfolk village finished runner-up in the Medium Village category, but Steve Race, the team’s co-ordinator, was hopeful of coming top at the UEA this Sunday.
He said many of those taking part played regular sport, including members of badminton and football clubs within Long Stratton and he uses social media to connect with sports-mad people within the village to spread the word about the games.
Long Stratton won the south Norfolk heat in the Medium Village category to qualify for the finals, where the players will be performing in 11 sports, including archery, badminton, athletics and five-a-side football.
Mr Race said: “I don’t like to sound too confident, but I am confident we will do as well as we did last year, if not better.
“We did not know how we were actually going to do in the finals and we were really proud to finish runner-up and now we have got that under our belt, we are confident of doing better.”
He added the Long Stratton competitors ranged in age from eight to 80, adding: “Events like this are a good way of bringing the community together to be involved in sporting activity.”