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Step your way to a healthier lifestyle at the eighth annual Downham Games

PUBLISHED: 10:45 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:32 03 April 2019

Katie Brewer from Alive Leisure and Zena Penty from West Norfolk Mind with Downham Games organiser Frances Rayner. Picture: Peter Fox

Katie Brewer from Alive Leisure and Zena Penty from West Norfolk Mind with Downham Games organiser Frances Rayner. Picture: Peter Fox

Peter Fox

The Downham Games is set to return for the eighth year with a new activity to get families heading in the right direction.

Action from the Downham Games 2012, held at the Memorial Field. Picture: Matthew Usher.Action from the Downham Games 2012, held at the Memorial Field. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A new community step challenge aims to get people moving to a healthier lifestyle, by collectively reaching an epic 14.5 million steps in one month.

The challenge begins on May 9 with the community stepping their way from Downham Market to Tokyo, home of the 2020 Olympics, until Sunday, June 9, the day of the Downham Games at the Memorial Playing Field.

Participants are being encouraged to record their mileage, with the total number of steps to be announced at the Downham Games.

Now in its eighth year, the activities are largely free to participate with funds being donated to mental health charity West Norfolk Mind.

Action from the Downham Games 2012, held at the Memorial Field. Picture: Matthew Usher.Action from the Downham Games 2012, held at the Memorial Field. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Organiser Frances Rayner said: “The correlation between physical activity and mental health has been proven and we hope that this year we can help to bring about more understanding in the community.”

Zena Penty from West Norfolk Mind said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Downham Games have chosen to support West Norfolk Mind this year.

“It’s a very inclusive community event which will motivate people to try new activities which hopefully they will continue to participate in.

“The inclusion of schools in the step challenge will very much help us raise awareness of our services and we would like to thank the local businesses for their support.”

Action from the Downham Games 2012, held at the Memorial Field. Picture: Matthew Usher.Action from the Downham Games 2012, held at the Memorial Field. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Year on year the event goes from strength to strength with this year’s sports tasters including football from Watlington FC, Denver Cricket Club, golf with Ryston Park Golf Club, squash, tennis, cycling and archery with Marshland Archers.

New additions this year include West Norfolk and Swaffham rugby clubs alongside old-time favourites jazzercise, Zumba and yoga in the arena along.

Ms Rayner added: “The athletics competition had over 250 entries last year, the most ever recorded. The concept has remained the same since the first games in 2012 and will once again be organised with the help of Ryston Runners.”

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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