Let the games begin – Downham Games 2018 officially launches

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, orga

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, organiser Frances Rayner, Julie McGee and Cllr Charlie Pyatt. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

A popular family-focused games event has officially launched in Downham Market, now in it's seventh year.

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, orga

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, organiser Frances Rayner, Julie McGee and Cllr Charlie Pyatt. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The Downham Market Games will be held at the Memorial Playing fields on Sunday, June 10.

Downham Market Town Council is a long-term supporter of the event. Town mayor Frank Daymond said: 'The town council has a vested interest in encouraging people to exercise and participate in sport and wants to support this great event, which adds real value to the town calendar of events.

'I was around in 2012 when the games started and have watched it grow year on year.

'Last year as deputy mayor, it was a real pleasure to visit the games and see how much everyone loves the event, and this year I will definitely be there once again, you never know I might even take part.'

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, orga

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, organiser Frances Rayner, Julie McGee and Cllr Charlie Pyatt. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant


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Last year's games, of which 500 people took part, introduced Norfolk's first ever wife-carrying competition.

With the women clad in safety helmets, the men had to jump over hay bales, braved buckets of water and flour bombs on a 400m obstacle course.

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The event also includes more traditional games suitable for all ages, including football, archery, squash, tennis, cricket and athletics.

Organiser Frances Rayner said: 'This year we want to build on previous themes, encouraging young people between 11 – 17-years-old and This Girl Can campaign by adding a very important element – improving mental health and wellbeing through taking part in healthy activity.

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, orga

The launch of the 2018 Downham Market Games. Pictured are (from left) Town Mayor Frank Daymond, organiser Frances Rayner, Julie McGee and Cllr Charlie Pyatt. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

'Mental Health is a huge challenge in the community and has no boundaries in terms of age and gender, but it is proven that healthy activity can really help which is why we have several ideas we are exploring.

'If there are any organisations that feel they can contribute to this theme then they must get in touch.'

The first organising meeting is taking place on Friday, January 26, at 6pm.

Organisers would like to thank Downham Tandoori, Arbuckles and Cooperative Funeral Services who have pledged funding.

Anyone interested in volunteering or want to bring their activity to the games should get in touch with Frances Rayner at francesrayner68@gmail.com or on 07802 448836.

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