PICTURES: Crowds flock to Hethersett Olympic event

A village playing field became a giant Olympic arena featuring approximately 20 sports to celebrate an open weekend.

Fittingly, Hethersett is due to welcome the Olympic torch on July 5 as the flame winds its way around the country, so the annual Sport In The Park extravaganza on the Recreation Road Memrial Playing Field took on an added significance.

The event was part of three days of festivities in the village over the weekend, which started on Friday with a 24 hour swimming marathon and Hethersett's Got Talent contest and continued on Saturday with the sporting events before finishing on Sunday with a morning church service, two mile village fun run and ladies five-a-side football competition.

For the Sport In The Park, the playing fields were divided into different pitches where visitors could have a go at more mainstream sports such as athletics, football and rugby or more lesser known sports such as korfball, dodgeball and American Football.

There were also demonstrations of the martial arts ju-jitsu and karate, as well as fencing.

Shane Hull and James Rice, from Sport In The Park organisers the Hethersett Olympic Committee, said a number of local sports clubs were involved including Little Melton Crusaders rugby team, Hethersett Atheletic football team, the Hethersett Speedway Club and the Norwich Devils American Football team.

Mr Hull said: 'Basically, all the events are free, nobody has to pay for anything and it is a part of the Olympic ideal to try and get people involved in sport and if they enjoy it, then they can sign up for that sport.'

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He expected between 500 and 1,000 people to visit the playing field during the day on Saturday, which is the third year the event has been running.

He said: 'We want to create a legacy for years to come by getting children involved in sport at an early age.'

On Friday, 300 schoolchildren participated in the swimming marathon at the village's junior school pool and Saturday's festivities were due to end with a performance by the brass band of St Remigius Church.

The marshalled two mile fun run around village roads gave participants the opportunity to meet former Olympic athlete Paul Evans, who would be warming up the runners and the chance to win a certificate.

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