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Downham Market Success at the Alternative Village Games

On Sunday 27th January Downham Market took part in The Active Norfolk Alternative Village Games. 

The games were open to villages and small market towns who participate in the ‘regular’ Village Games. Downham Market entered a Mixed Ultimate Frisbee, Men’s Dodgeball and Ladies Handball team.

Frances Rayner, Village Games Sports Coordinator for Downham Market, reported back to downhamweb on how ‘Team Downham Market’ did at the Games.

Knowing there were limited spaces at the event and knowing how enthusiastic the town’s Village Games Team is she filled in the entry form before finalising teams to take along.

“At no point did I think that I would have to back out. I have got such an enthusiastic group of people in Downham which includes families where Mum, Dad and the kids all want to come along and take part.” said Frances.

In all 12 teams took part, from right across Norfolk, all travelling to UEA in Norwich to compete in the games.

“Our Ultimate Frisbee Team was made up of adults and children, with more children being in the team than adults.” Said Frances. “Having never played the game before they were up against much bigger children but they had an absolutely brilliant time and came away asking if they could do it again.”

The Ultimate Frisbee team came 5th and the Dodgeball team 7th.


The Ultimate Frisbee Team

However it was the members of the Ladies Handball team who really showed their strength and determination taking first place in their competition.

“We had a team of 7 which enabled us to have 5 on the court with subs rolling on and off as necessary.” Frances explained. “It is a fast and furious game and we were pleased to take a rest every few minutes. Luckily every one of us play sport so we were able to quickly learn the rules and tactics to help us to really enjoy this new sport’.

The Ladies Handball Team in Action

“Since getting home from the event I have been inundated with text and facebook messages from those that came along. Each and every person really enjoyed themselves and many are keen to see if we can develop some further taster sessions in the town, most especially Handball. This is what the Norfolk Village Games is all about, increasing participation in sport and helping people to ‘Get Into’ sports they may not have tried before.”

The Ladies Handball Team

Frances is in discussion with Active Norfolk to see if a Handball taster session can be set up in Downham Market in March followed by a ‘Get Into’ course starting in late April. Further information about this can be found at or the Downham Village Games Facebook Page.

Further information about the Downham Village Games Team is available by contacting Frances at [email protected] or phoning her on 07802448836.

The Men’s Dodgeball Team

Team Photo Call

Ultimate Frisbee Team – left to right

Back row: Debbie Payne English, Kevin Payne English, Millie Delaney, Ali Cupit, Olivia Cupit, Maisie Cupit
Front row:Eleanor Pane English, Lydia Payne English, Erin Delaney, Harry Cupit, Joshua Gooderson

Ladies Handball Team – left to right

Back Row: Paul Walters Coach and Player Norwich Handball Club, Cara Rose, Karen Starling, Laura Delaney, Lucy Chase, Tina Roberts, Henrique Dias Head Coach for Norfolk Dragons Handball Club.
Front Row: Sally Gooderson, Frances Rayner

Men’s Dodgeball Team – left to right

Back row: Jerry Rose, Nigel Gooderson, Alastair Cupit
Front row: Jonathan Rose, Sam Lester, Peter Delaney



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