18 July 2017
Despite a cloudy start to the day and the obvious threat of rain, the day kicked off well with a fantastic turnout for the under 8’s 1km fun run, followed immediately by an 85-strong field in the 5km fun run. First home in the 5km race was Paul Davis in an excellent 18m39s, followed in 2nd place by Luke Shrewsbury, and Nathan Price in 3rd. First lady was Gemma Larkin-Lawton in 22m26s, with Lucy Day just 20secs behind and Laura Price 3rd lady. Well done to all runners! My thanks to the PTA who staffed the registration and finish line, to all volunteer marshals and to Val Quest who presented the awards.
Shortly after a brief lunch, where we enjoyed the culinary BBQ delights from Hobbs House who were conveniently located alongside the Pimm’s tent and bar, the traditional track games kicked off the afternoon with some very large entries from toddlers, preschool, reception and years 1 & 2 groups in the various races that included egg and spoon, sack, and 30m sprints. Other age groups participated in 3-legged, wheelbarrow and space hopper races, and 60m and 100m sprints. Once again, my thanks go to all volunteers on the start and finish lines and of course to Jen and Gill in the prize giving tent.
Next on the events list was the water-based It’s a Knockout event. Back by popular demand for a 2nd year, this was a slightly modified event in which 5 teams had the seemingly straightforward task of transferring a wheelie-bin full of water to another, empty, wheelie bin some 30m away. The intervening gap was filled by a sheet of plastic covered in liquid soap. Just to make the game last a little longer perhaps? Anyway, about 20mins after starting, the first team to finish achieved this very goal and the whole event was most entertaining for spectators and participants alike. “Brilliantly anarchic” in the words of Keith Ashworth! Thanks to Caroline Baker who created the event and to Tom Miller for setting up and managing it on the day. It’s sure to return in future years!
The day rounded off with the Strong Man/Strong Lady car tow and Tug of War contests. First-placed (and only!) lady in the car tow was Sarah Quick, while there was a field of 7 men testing their skills and strength to tow the car over a distance of 5m. Both adult and junior teams in the Tug of War were extremely evenly matched which made for some excellent spectating. The senior team “And the Winners Are” just beat “Wickwar Warriors” while the junior teams of “Stumpy’s Boys” similarly just outclassed “A.B.C. tugging”.
During the course of the afternoon we were treated to some excellent live music from local band Common Ground, the opportunity to win a balloon flight with raffle ticket sales in aid of the local Scout group, courtesy of local balloonist Ashley Moore. And with further side attractions of sumo suits and bouncy castle there was more than enough to keep everyone entertained.
My final thanks must go to John Broad and Jim McAleese who spend much of their free time managing the playing fields all year round, but make it particularly presentable for the annual sports day; to Jo Woodcraft for the afternoon’s commentary; to Lisa Williams for running the other raffle draw; to Keith Ashworth for producing the programmes; to those who delivered it; to pre-school for manning the sweet stall; to Nicola at the Buthay, who in conjunction with Wickwar Brewery, provided the beer for the Friends of AHS bar managed by Vicky Dummer and friends; to Tim Wilcox for his loan of the Citroen C1 once again; to the Wells clan at the Hobbs House stand and last but not least to everyone who set up and took everything down at the end of the day.
– Andy Cleave