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Let The Downham Games Begin!

The Downham Games and Hancock 5 mile road race join force to continue the Olympic legacy in Downham Market

After the success of last year’s Olympic themed celebrations in Downham Market Village Games, Sports Coordinator Frances Rayner is working with Active Norfolk and Ryston Runners to put together a fun filled day of sports with the return of The Downham Games on the 7th July. The event will be held at Downham Memorial playing fields and will once again involve sports taster sessions and an athletics competition for all ages and abilities.

Testing Out The Equipment with Olivia Cupit, Jane Sharpe, Harry Sharpe, Frances Rayner, Amy East and Molly Sharpe
Testing Out The Equipment with Olivia Cupit, Jane Sharpe, Harry Sharpe, Frances Rayner, Amy East and Molly Sharpe

‘Last year’s event was a real opportunity to see how much interest we could generate not only from those who already love sport but those who wanted to try something new. As it was Olympic year we thought that it would capture everyone’s imagination but was absolutely thrilled at the number of people that turned out.’ Said Frances who worked last year to coordinate the event with Downham Town Council.



This year Frances has gained financial support from West Norfolk Sports Council who is providing a grant and sponsor building firm JK Construction Norfolk so that the event can go ahead. ‘Many people had asked me if the Games would take place again as they really enjoyed the atmosphere and the wide range of activities to try.’ Frances went on to say ‘I feel that this is a real opportunity to bring not only the residents of Downham Market together but people from the wider community. Many people from the surrounding villages come into town and use the facilities and clubs so we hope this will continue to appeal to them.’

The Downham Games provides opportunities to try a whole range of free taster sessions including archery, tennis, squash, croquet and cricket. There will be an athletics competition which includes 2 running events, 2 throwing events and 2 jumping events at a cost of £1 per child and £2 per adult, there is a minimum age of 8 years old for the athletics competition and every participant will receive a medal for participation.

Registration for the athletics starts from 10.30 AM and the whole event will commence at 11 AM. At 1 PM the taster sessions will come to an end and we will be holding family ‘old school’ races which is an opportunity for all the family however young or old to take part in hurdles, skipping, relay and obstacle races to name a few. Presentation of the athletics winner’s medals will take place at 2pm.

Having supported the Downham Games last year Ryston Runners has decided to move its annual Hancock 5 mile road race from an evening event to the Sunday morning of the 7th. It is hoped that the combined event will bring plenty of people into the town from further afield providing family members a chance to get involved in other activities whilst those running the 5 miles are making their way around the course.

Andy Smith Chairman of Ryston Runners said ‘this felt like a perfect opportunity to make a change to our normal schedule so that we could generate more interest, a better atmosphere and hopefully draw more attention to both events.’

The Hancock 5 mile has been on the clubs events calendar for 25 years and attracts people from around the county. They expect to get in excess of 200 runners taking part this year. Ryston Runners is pleased to be involved once again with the Games and will be on hand throughout the morning to help with setting up and running the athletics competition as well as running and marshalling the road race.’

Frances invites anyone to have a chat about how to get involved on the day – either taking part, volunteering or offering services.

For further information about the Hancock 5 miles go to Information about the Downham Games can be gained from Frances Rayner on 07802448836 or email her at [email protected].



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Testing Out The Equipment with Olivia Cupit, Jane Sharpe, Harry Sharpe, Frances Rayner, Amy East and Molly Sharpe