Village games roadshow hits Coltishall

People have been encouraged to get fit and try out a new sport at a community roadshow event.

The Norfolk Village Games roadshow in Coltishall has been taking place with people given the chance to have a go at a range of different sports, including archery, bowls, table tennis and football.

The aim of the Norfolk Village Games scheme is to get more than 20,000 people to take part in taster sessions in villages with coaching and ongoing support.

It was one such taster session which has taken took place in Coltishall all day on Sunday.

Steve Hulme, rural sports development officer with Active Norfolk, said: 'We have lots of different sports going on.

'This is all about people coming along and trying out some sports, the taster sessions also work well to promote sports club such as the bowls club in Coltishall which is looking for new members.'

Mel Douglass, corrdirector of the playing field committee at Coltishall, said: 'This is a really good initiative for the village that people can come along and get involved in the activities, and also for helping possibly getting new sports clubs in the village going.'

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Other taster sessions are being run throughout the coming months, including one in Stalham at the sports centre in Stalham High School on Sunday, May 8 from 11am - 4pm and in Reepham at the village high school on Sunday, May 15 at the same times.

Aside from the taster sessions, later this year as part of the Norfolk Village Game project, villages will also be encouraged to put forward teams to compete against each other, with the best of the best taking part in a final competition held at the University of East Anglia in September.

There are three categories, small villages (with an electoral roll population of 1,250 or under) medium villages (parishes/villages with an electoral roll population of 1,251- 4,250) and market towns and larger villages (with an electoral role population of 4,251 or over). The games are open to all ages of participants.

The Norfolk Village Games project started last year and is to continue running in Norfolk this year and next, culminating in a grand Norfolk Village Olympics in 2012. It has been helped with �577,701 of National Lottery funding by Sport England which was awarded to the scheme in February last year.

Norfolk Village Games were given the funding for the project from the �10 million Rural Communities fund, which was launched after Sport England research revealed that two thirds of the local authorities with the lowest sports participation rates are in rural areas.

For more information on how to get involved with Norfolk Village Games, visit www.activenorfolk.org

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