Picture gallery: Hundreds take part in Norfolk Village Games

Hundreds of people from 28 villages across the county converged on Norwich at the weekend for Norfolk's very own mini Olympics.

More than 88 villages had already gone head-to-head in the district rounds of the Norfolk Village Games, and Sunday saw the winners head to the Sportspark at the University of East Anglia for the final.

The event, organised by Active Norfolk, started with an opening ceremony, complete with dancers from Dimension Dance, a rousing performance by Cawston Band and a first appearance by the new Active Norfolk mascot, Olly the Olympic Elephant.

Great British archer and London 2012 prospect Amy Oliver, 24, announced the games officially open.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist, from South Yorkshire, said: 'There's a massive interest in archery in Norfolk. I can't believe how many people are doing it, and having it as a sport in these games is fantastic.

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'Archery isn't a very well known sport and this will hopefully raise its profile.

'It's really nice to see people getting involved in sport.'

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Villages from across Norfolk competed in nine sports, including archery, badminton, table tennis, short mat bowls, darts, football, rounders, tennis and a watt bike cycling challenge.

The three 'Best in Norfolk' honours went to Docking in the small village category, Feltwell for the medium village and Downham Market for the large village or market town category, with each winning �500 of sports equipment.

Aslacton and Great Moulton were two of the smaller villages which teamed up to create Team A/M.

Nick Burrows, 42, from Great Moulton, said: 'This is the first year we have done it and it's been absolutely fantastic.

'We have had 60 people join in and the oldest taking part is 83 and the youngest is my eight-year-old daughter Neve.

'It's been a really good way of getting to know people in the village. After we won the South Norfolk games about 40 to 50 of us all went to the village pub to celebrate and we put our winning cup on the bar.

'We have been able to do taster sessions of things like archery and short-mat bowls, which you would never normally do, and out of it we have got a table tennis club in the village now which we didn't have before.'

Sarah Feeney, from Hevingham, brought her family along to compete.

The 39-year-old said: 'It's a good team experience and it brings the village together. It's good fun.'

Laurie Hull, director of Active Norfolk, said: 'The whole point of setting up the village games was to take sport out to the rural communities across Norfolk.

'This is the first year it has been held across all six districts and we are hoping to use this to go on to have a huge event next year.'

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