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From Downham Market to Tokyo - town surpasses goal of reaching 14.5m steps at annual games

PUBLISHED: 08:10 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:19 10 June 2019

Councillor Charlie Pyatt and Downham Market mayor Becky Hayes at the Downham Market Games 2019. Photo: Sarah Hussain

Councillor Charlie Pyatt and Downham Market mayor Becky Hayes at the Downham Market Games 2019. Photo: Sarah Hussain

Archant

Hundreds of people laced up their walking shoes to take part in an annual sports event in a west Norfolk town.

Peter Fox from West Norfolk Mind and organiser Frances Rayner, at the Downham Market Games 2019. Photo: Sarah HussainPeter Fox from West Norfolk Mind and organiser Frances Rayner, at the Downham Market Games 2019. Photo: Sarah Hussain

The popular Downham Market Games returned for its eighth year this weekend, and saw the community take part in different sports activities to raise money for charity.

The event - which was held at the memorial playing field on Sunday, June 9 - also included the last day of a steps challenge which has been ongoing for the last few weeks.

The aim is to collectively reach 14.5m steps, the equivalent of walking from Downham to Tokyo.

Schools and groups in the town had been involved, and on Sunday people used pedometers to add to the steps.

Penalty shoot out at the Downham Market Games 2019. Photo: Sarah HussainPenalty shoot out at the Downham Market Games 2019. Photo: Sarah Hussain

The total number has not yet been tallied, but organisers said the community has surpassed the target, with one school racking up an impressive 196m steps.

Nelson Academy had more than 400 children buy pedometers and the school encouraged pupils to get as many steps as possible.

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Organiser Frances Rayner said: "We are absolutely blown away by the school's total.

"The kids at Nelson Academy really got competitive, they got active because they wanted those steps."

Activities held on Sunday were largely free to participate in, with six of the athletic events raising funds from participation. Football, rugby, tennis and jazzercise were among the activities taking place on the day.

Funds were also raised through a penalty shoot out, with Denver FC volunteering their time in goal. The top prize for the shoot out was signed football boots from former Norwich City player Joshua Murphy.

Representatives from the town council and the mayor were present at the event, and took part in the sessions.

Town mayor Becky Hayes said: "It's important these events are supported as it helps the community and brings us together."

The money raised from the event will be made to this year's charity, West Norfolk Mind.

Peter Fox, a volunteer, said: "The support from this event is really big for us as it allows us to raise awareness and give back to the community."

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