Exciting Cotswold Olimpicks wow Large Crowds

The 2016 running of the Cotswold Olimpicks, run by the Robert Dover’s Games Society, took place up on Dovers Hill above Chipping Campden with on the lower arena a set of team games, Champion of the hill, culminating in the Shin Kicking World Championship.

On the upper arena was spectator events including team arm wrestling (with Tember Tables), Archery, sideshow stalls along with displays from Medieval Knights, Magician Mark Trevesoni, lady flame throwers and Coventry Corps of Drums (among others).

The event, which relies on sponsorship and ticket sales to continue, was sponsored by Fosseway Hire and Budget Skips.

The history of the Cotswold Olimpick Games is that it is an annual public celebration of games and sports, which began in 1622, and have continued on and off to the present day. They were started by a local lawyer, Robert Dover, with the approval of King James. Dover's motivation in organising the Games may have been his belief that physical exercise was necessary for the defence of the realm, but he may also have been attempting to bring rich and poor together; the Games were attended by all classes of society, including royalty on one occasion.

With the use of the buses from down in Chipping Campden, via car or walking up the hill the large crowd made its way up onto Dovers Hill ready for the Games. With a new influx onto the hard working committee a few new items were added for the visitors with the Team Wrestling table a real hit, along with the balloon rides from Executive Balloon Hire.

After the pre event entertainment from the Medieval Knights of Middle England (Jonathan Rarston & Tom Roberts), Rozie T’s Dance Academy and Sambassadors of Groove a procession entered the arena, led by the Medieval Knights of Middle England, with the Scuttlebrook Wave Queen (Hannah Pritchard) and her attendants and Robert Dover.

The games were opened by Robert Dover (Father John Brennan) and Hon. Philip Smith supported by Robert Dover’s back swordsmen Pete “Buzzsaw” Holland and Ged “The Joker” Pascoe.

The highly anticipated Games were then setup by Ben Greenall, Juliette Greenall and Tabitha King and the team, and the 4 teams Chillout – Chipping Campden Baptists, Coach & Horses Longborough, Returning Heroes and Mrs T’s Caramel Slices.

The races included a sack race, wheelbarrow race, space hopper race and the water buckets and slippery surface finale, with all team members taking part on one leg. It was a tight affair with a tie for the lead after 4 rounds, with a tie break round needed for two teams – Chillout and The Returning Heroes.

With the other two teams throwing buckets of water at the competing teams, the competitors struggled on the slippery surface, with a delighted Returning Heroes team winning the event and the trophy.

While these team games were taking place the Champion of the Hill was taking place with hammer throwing, shot putting, standing jump and spurning the barre. This was won by visiting American Jake Johnson, who was over for a wedding and decided to stay on for the games.

Then the finale of the games with the Shin Kicking world championship with heats and semi-finals taking place before the final between 2015 winner Adam Miller against a past champion in Zak Warren.

After a titanic battle Adam Miller was awarded the first fall by Stickler judges Ben Greenall and Tabitha King, and then sadly Zak had to retire hurt with an injury so Adam, after a brief collapse, was awarded the Francis Burns trophy by the Hon. Philip Smith.

Then the final action moved to the top of the hill with the beacon lit by the outgoing Scuttlebrook Queen Hannah Pritchard along with help from the lady flame throwers Laura McDyer, Coral Sutcliffe and Jasmin May.

Then after a great firework display, the crowd gathered with their lit torches, the procession was led down the hill by the Coventry Corps of Drums, into the square in Chipping Campden. Their local 9 piece funk band Kinky Farnham were ready to funk the evening away, and did so to wild dancing up to midnight.

So after recovering from the very successful 2016 event, the games committee will start to plan the 2017 event which will take place on Friday 2nd June 2017.

Exciting Cotswold Olimpicks wow Large Crowds
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 12 June 2016
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