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Why the sport of axe-throwing is growing in popularity

PUBLISHED: 12:54 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 15 July 2019

Axe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Axe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Axe-throwing is a well-known sport in America, but over the last few years its popularity in the UK has started to grow.

Rick Birster, Range Mater, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodRick Birster, Range Mater, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

For 16 months now, the Norfolk Flingers club have met regularly in West Earlham to practice the thrilling sport, and they're starting to get ready for international competitions.

Rick Brister, 45, a heating engineer from Norwich, is the owner and founder of the club. He says the sport is for everyone.

He said: "I was always into martial arts when I was younger. One day I went to Yarmouth and saw some throwing knives and decided to relive my childhood.

"I picked up a cheap set and started looking on the internet, it turned into axes and tomahawks, and I slowly started going to competitions and clubs."

Axe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodAxe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norfolk Flingers is the only club of its kind in Norwich. It was founded in 2015 by Mr Brister, who is also a scout leader, and is one of ten official clubs in the country.

"When I first started four years ago there were only three clubs," Mr Brister added.

"Safety is the main priority, we want to put that out there. The problem we have is there's so much knife crime in the media at the moment, and we want to distance ourselves from that culture."

The club usually meet every other Saturday, but are currently preoccupied with preparing for the 2019 Eurothrowers World Championship, which will be hosted in Newark this August.

Axe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodAxe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

"Having the world championships in the UK this year has been amazing for the sport," Mr Brister said.

"There are well over 600 members in the knife, axe and tomahawk throwing association. We're working with the government to recognise it as an official sport."

The Norfolk Flingers are also working to establish a competition with their friends and rivals at the Essex Backyard Throwers.

Members of the club meet at the Earlham Scout group and pay £10 per session, including all equipment.

Axe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodAxe throwing club, Earlham, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

"Once you get into it it's a precision sport. There's just a great bunch of people, it can take over your world."

Those who want to get involved or find out more can do so by searching 'Norfolk Flingers' on Facebook.

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