Communities from across the county went head-to-head to prove their sporting prowess at “alternative” sports.

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Just weeks ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the people of Norfolk showed off their own sporting talent across five different sports as part of the Alternative Village Games.

The competition has been set up as a winter alternative to the traditional Village Games, held in the summer, and saw 25 teams go head-to-head in volleyball, dodgeball, rush hockey, handball and ultimate frisbee.

Events were held at the Sportspark, at the University of East Anglia, yesterday and saw villages and market towns including the Lophams, Downham Market and Ashwellthorpe take part.

Downham Market won the handball, Sporle took the honours in volleyball and North Walsham won the hockey. The dodgeball title was taken by the Walpoles and Diss came out on top at ultimate frisbee.

Ellen Vanlint, from organisers Active Norfolk, said: “It was great to get the 2014 Village Games under way.

“The Alternative Village Games is a fantastic event and gets new people taking part in a variety of different sports.

“It was as competitive as ever and hopefully a sign of things to come for the the future competitions. Next up we have netball in April.”

The Alternative Village Games is designed to give people the chance to try a different range of sports, other than those included in the Village Games.

This year’s Village Games will kick-start in earnest from June 8 with the north and south Norfolk rounds.

The annual competition is among dozens of nationwide initiatives which have been awarded the Inspire Mark, recognition of innovative and exceptional projects that are inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Last year’s Village Games proved to be the most successful with 16,000 people from 181 villages taking part.

To sign up, villages should visit www.activenorfolk.org/villagegames or call 01603 731566.

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