Fakenham is on its marks for inaugural Shopkeepers’ Olympics

Two of the team captains for the Shopkeeper Olympics in Fakenham, Claire Brown (left) and Lisa Malle

Two of the team captains for the Shopkeeper Olympics in Fakenham, Claire Brown (left) and Lisa Mallett, with the trophy. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew usher

Fakenham will be alive with music, dancing and offbeat sporting competition on Saturday when the town hosts its Showcase Fun Day – including its first ever Shopkeepers' Olympics.

A rallying cry has been made to the people of Fakenham and surrounding areas to come out and make it a day to remember.

Richard Crook, co-ordinator of Active Fakenham, which is organising the day, said: 'A lot of work has gone in to this and I'm really happy with the programme we have lined up.

'With so much going on, there really is something here for everyone.

'The weather forecast is good and a lot of people have shown interest so I think it could be a really great event.

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'It is now down to the public to come out, get involved and enjoy themselves because, ultimately, it will be down to them turning up to make it work and to ensure that this event has a future.'

The showcase day will see sports groups and other organisations running stalls, many with have-a-go activities, to show people what is available regularly in the Fakenham area.

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There will be dozens of activities for people to enjoy including Balkan dancing, a glee club, circus skills, dodge ball, hockey, archery, martial arts, zumba, Irish dancing, rugby skills, table tennis, softball and more.

The Shopkeepers' Olympics will see traders do battle for the Brenda Coldrick Cup, named after former Fakenham mayor and well-known community stalwart who died in March 2012, aged 73.

The competition will see Fakenham town centre divided into four teams, with Lisa Mallett, owner of Sweets 'n' Things, captaining the Oak Street team, which will wear green; Claire Brown, from Norwich and Peterborough Building Society leading the Bridge Street team, who will be in white; Liam O'Sullivan from Gallery Bistro in charge of the Market Place team, in purple, and Rebecca Codman, from Tudor Tea Rooms, skippering the Norwich Street team, who will wear red.

The teams will compete in various challenges around Fakenham town centre, including military circuits, an inflatable golf challenge, table tennis, gym triathlon, tug-of-war and football skills.

Active Fakenham was set up as a volunteer-run group more than a year ago.

Saturday's events are being organised to encourage the Fakenham community to work together for the good of the town.

It is hoped they will encourage more people to visit Fakenham and bring a boost to traders, help local clubs to increase membership and encourage more people to exercise and lead healthy lifestyles.

Mr Crook said: 'With so much of what is happening on Saturday available on a regular basis, I don't think anyone could say that Fakenham is boring.

'I'm expecting the Shopkeepers' Olympics to be quite competitive, and there has been a bit of banter flying around, but not overly competitive as it's all about having fun.

'At the end of the day, if I can get people dancing in the streets of Fakenham and enjoying themselves, my job is done.'

Saturday's events will take place in Fakenham town centre between 10am and 1pm.

The vast majority of activities will be free or at low cost.

Market Place will be closed to traffic between 8.30am and 2pm.

Tickets will also be on sale on the day for The Bricks of Burston, which will be performed at Fakenham Community Centre by Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company on Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 with concessions £5.

Active Fakenham has also secured a £2,000 Victory Housing grant to provide taxis and minibuses to their events for people with limited access to transport.

The transport management will be through Fakenham Area Partnership.

Journeys will cost £1 each way per person with accompanied children free.

The number of trips will be limited and ideally in groups of around six people.

Booking can be arranged by contacting Janet Holdom on 01328 863343 or emailing janet@fakenhamareapartnership.co.uk.

For more details and a timetable of Saturday's events, go to www.activefakenham.org.uk.

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