‘Mixed feelings’ as bosses announce annual Norfolk Village Games will cease after this year’s event

The Norfolk Village Games will no longer be organised after this summer's event. Picture: Ian Burt

The Norfolk Village Games will no longer be organised after this summer's event. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

For six years it has united hundreds of people across Norfolk through competitive sport in the community. But organisers of the annual Norfolk Village Games have announced that this year's event in July will be the last.

The Games, which sees villagers from all over the county competing against each other at various sports, are to close as organisers Active Norfolk develop a new 'organisational strategy'.

The decision was met with sadness by one village team representative, but Active Norfolk insisted it remained committed to providing sporting opportunities for people living in rural areas.

Ian Grange, sports development manager at Active Norfolk, said: 'This is not about Active Norfolk not supporting activity and sport in the county. For people living in rural areas there will be very little change, other than that they won't be coming to the Norwich for a day for the final.'

He said Active Norfolk would be working closely with village sports co-ordinators and that there were other projects planned to provide sporting opportunities.

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Funding for the Games was granted by Sport England for the first three years, amounting to around £150,000, Mr Grange said.

When that funding ran out Active Norfolk stumped up the cash to pay for another three years.

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Peter Steward, who has entered teams from Hethersett in every Village Games event, said he had mixed feelings about the news.

'I'm a little sad about it because it was a very good competition but things do run their course.

'It brought people together and it is a friendly event. It fostered good sporting links between villages.

'We will miss the Games and make a big, concerted effort in this final event.'

The final of this year's Games will be held on July 10 at UEA Sportspark.

Have you got a story? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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