Photo gallery: Village teams get ready for the Norfolk Village Games held at the UEA this Sunday

Gorleston competitors during the Village Games 2013 finals Gorleston competitors during the Village Games 2013 finals

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
12:59 PM

This Sunday, scores of people from villages across Norfolk will do battle as part of the Village Games at the UEA. All this week we are previewing some of the teams.

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Badminton players from the Cawston, Reepham and Booton Village Games team during the Broadland heat.Badminton players from the Cawston, Reepham and Booton Village Games team during the Broadland heat.

Gorleston is tipped for the top

The Gorleston team is being tipped as one to watch in the large village category. The team has qualified for the county final for three years running and in 2012 took home a bronze medal. The 2014 line-up has several new members who were successfully recruited during an open day in April. They will join the village games regulars to form the biggest Gorleston entry to date with members from both Lynn Grove High School and Ormiston Venture Academy as well as local table tennis, bowls and football clubs.

Alex Bond, rural sports development officer for the Great Yarmouth area, said: “Gorleston are always ones to watch in the large village category and historically they have done very well in the table tennis, football and bowls category. With this being their largest team entry to date, I am sure they will all be hoping the rest of the team can push them up into medal contention again.”

A youngster at the Broadland heat of the Village Games tournament.A youngster at the Broadland heat of the Village Games tournament.

Loddon are a team who want to have fun

Pupils and their families are representing Loddon with a clear motto to just have fun. The team, who have qualified for the finals for the past two years are made up of children and their families from Loddon Junior School, led by teacher Paul Graveling. He said: “Every year we do it, we are representing Loddon village, but most of us come from the school. I’m the PE co-ordinator, so we do all the recruiting here. “It’s about half children and half adults. Most of the children are aged between eight and 11, we do have a few older brothers and sisters and one family of six are taking part this year, so there are about 40 of us altogether.“We do it to get the children involved in sport and to have a go, but mostly we just enjoy ourselves and have lots of fun.”Mr Graveling said the team loved trying out all the different sports but were particularly keen on badminton and archery. The team will be competing in the medium villages category.

Trio of villages unite to take on the competition

An ultra marathon runner will be one of the competitors in the Cawston, Reepham and Booton Village Games team this year.

Known as Team Crab, it is made up of about 40 people ranging from a boy aged seven to a woman in her 60s.

It won the medium villages category at the Broadland area heat on June 22 at Aylsham High School, and will compete against nine other teams in the county final.

Team Crab organiser, nurse Amelia Whiting, 37, from New Street, Cawston, said: “There is usually some banter and fun rivalry between the villages but we do it for the fun. There are some very talented youngsters so I’m hoping we will do well. We try to get families involved and it is a really good social family day.”

She will be taking part in the athletics, along with her son Edward, 12, and daughter Isobel, 11. Her other son, Tom, nine, will be competing in rounders.

Her husband Phil, 40, will be taking part in the fitness triathlon competition, which involves the rowing and running machine and static bike. He ran 100 miles on the South Downs Way in 25 hours 50 minutes three weeks ago. He hopes to complete another ultra marathon, 102 miles, in two weeks time.

Team Crab won the Broadland heat last year and came fourth in the county finals in the medium village category last year.

To get involved call Mrs Whiting on 01603 879522 or visit www.activenorfolk.org

Aylsham hopes to build on success

The organiser behind the Aylsham Village Games team is hoping to carry on the success of previous competitions this weekend.

It will be competing in the large villages category and has been taking part in the county-wide event since it started in 2011. The Aylsham team came fifth in the finals last year. Co-ordinator Smudge Smith said: “The Village Games is a fantastic event to be involved with. We are trying to give young people something to do and it is about promoting fitness. Teenagers spend a lot of time in their rooms on their games consoles and this helps to stop that and give them something to do.”

He said despite an element of rivalry between teams the competition was fun and competitors helped members of other teams. It also allowed young people to interact with older people. About 40 people were involved in the Aylsham team in the Broadland heat on June 22 at Aylsham High School. Competitors in the final will be aged from 12 and over-60 and will take part in table tennis, five-a-side football, darts, archery, badminton and tennis. Members of the football club and table tennis club will be competing.

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