Photo gallery: Norfolk club are second in UK Dodgeball Premier League

Reepham Raiders team members(l to r) Tom Newsome, Henry Skinner and James Warne during the 24-hour d

Reepham Raiders team members(l to r) Tom Newsome, Henry Skinner and James Warne during the 24-hour dodgeball marathon for Cancer Research UK at Reepham High School.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

'You've got to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge' is the catchphrase which will forever be associated with dodgeball - and those instructions are being followed by a growing number of people in Norfolk.

The Hollywood movie based around the sport, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughan, has elevated dodgeball to high levels of popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.

But now the hard yards are being put in by Norfolk dodgeball club Reepham Raiders, who are currently sitting second in the UK Dodgeball Premier League.

They also have three international players. Ed Skinner, 20, is involved with the England senior squad and hoping to go to the European championships in Austria next year, and his brother Henry, 19, is in the England youth squad.

They are joined by James Tuthill, who is captain of the Scotland national team, as well as head coach of the Norfolk Dodgeball Academy.


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Henry says his older brother, who attends the University of Sheffield, also possesses the 'fastest throw in England' - which has been clocked at an impressive 68mph.

Both Skinner brothers are originally from Reepham and Henry, who is studying at the University of Nottingham, says their sport is going from strength to strength.

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'The film got people to think about the sport and also showed the social and fun side of the sport,' Henry said.

'I always encourage people to at least try the sport first before they criticise it and realise how much fun it is. I think it is the new up-and-coming version of five-a-side football because it is so enjoyable.

'But it can be serious as well, which is why we travel all across the country for it, but there is a huge social side to that as well.'

The Raiders play their games at six tournaments throughout the season and are preparing for their next one at Lutterworth Sports Centre, in Leicestershire, this Sunday.

There they will take on Imperial Wolverines from Imperial College London, Balls of Steel from University of Nottingham and Jammy Dodgers from Hinckley.

The Raiders are 13 points behind league leaders Dirty Ducks, from Warwick, but Henry says the Reepham players have not given up hope of a title challenge yet.

He added: 'We're second in the whole of the UK and that was after a big review ahead of the season by Dodgehub magazine which suggested we would finish bottom of the league. So we have absolutely smashed that review.'

The Raiders also held a 24-hour dodgeball marathon between midday Saturday and midday Sunday of last weekend, raising £500 in total, of which £350 will go towards Cancer research UK and £150 will go towards club funds.

Henry was joined by Tom Newsome, James Warne and Ryan Borley as the ever-present Raiders at the event, with 15 pupils from Cawston Primary School lending their support on the Saturday afternoon.

Henry added: I don't think 'tough' does it justice! Four of us did the night shift, and that was really hard work, before some people joined us again at about 6am.

'Our target was £250 so to smash that was great.'

Anyone interested in joining the Reepham Raiders can email info@reephamraiders.com

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