Community games to make 'comeback' this summer following pandemic

Action from Downham Market Games 2014. Picture: Matthew Usher

Youngsters take on the tug of war during a previous Downham Market Games - Credit: Matthew Usher

Organisers of an annual community games have announced the event will be making a 'comeback' this summer after having to cancel previous events due to Covid.

The Downham Market Games - a popular sports event bringing hundreds of people together to raise money for charity - will also celebrate its 10th anniversary this June.

Set up in 2012, the games, which was the brainchild of Peter Duhig and Frances Rayner, aimed to get the community to celebrate the 2012 London Olympics and encourage them to take part in sport.

Frances Rayner at launch of Downham Market Games 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

Frances Rayner at launch of Downham Market Games 2018. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Since that time the event has grown and developed in "so many ways", from the number of participants increasing year on year to the number of activities on offer.

Activities from previous events have included cycling, fencing, croquet, golf, yoga, table tennis and even a 'wife carrying' race.

In training for the wife carrying race at this year's Downham Market Games are Mark and Aby Scamell.

Mark and Aby Scamell pictured in training for the wife carrying race at Downham Market Games 2017 - Credit: Ian Burt

This year, its main event will be an athletics competition and football, cricket, rugby, tennis, nerf gun wars, squash and archery is also planned.

Mrs Rayner said: "After two years away we are super excited to be back.

"The community has missed the games and is totally embracing the event's comeback.

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"We have been overwhelmed by the support of local businesses as well as the community to make this year's event a huge success.

"The ethos we have built on each year is to support the local community in becoming more physically active and to do this without entry barriers.

"We have given so many great opportunities for children and families to try new sports and physical activities which we hope has helped them to find something that they will continue to do."

She added that to celebrate its 10th year the games will be free of charge on Sunday, June 5 and hopes as many families will come along.

The event, which will be held on the Memorial Fields in Downham Market, will be held from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

All money raised will be made to this year's charity - the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which will have a display at the games.

Those interested in delivering a free activity can contact organisers on 07802 448836.