Downham Market celebrates sporting village of the year accolade

Representatives from Downham Market, which won the Best Sporting Village of the Year at the Norfolk Sports Awards 2016. Photo: submitted. ANL-161121-155433001
Representatives from Downham Market, which won the Best Sporting Village of the Year at the Norfolk Sports Awards 2016. Photo: submitted. ANL-161121-155433001

Sporting members of the community in Downham are celebrating the town’s recent accolade of Best Sporting Village of the Year.

Representatives from the town’s sporting population picked up the award at the Norfolk Sports Awards on Tuesday, November 15, in Norwich.

Downham, which had previously been nominated for the accolade in 2012 and 2015, fought off competition from two other market towns, Fakenham and Hethersett, to reach the top spot.

Frances Rayner, who won last year’s BBC UnsungHero and Winner of Winners awards, was joined by town councillor Charlie Pyatt and a team of volunteers to receive the award.

Mrs Rayner said: “There is so much hard work and commitment in Downham from volunteers across a range of activities and it is this that has driven up participation and an enthusiasm for getting out and getting involved.”

The award comes after the success of the Downham Games which was held in the summer, along with increased participation in sport generally, Mrs Rayner added.

Cllr Charlie Pyatt, who has been involved in sport all his life and has recently taken up running, said: “The title of the award might confuse people as Downham is not a village.

“This award category was open to applications from all communities and on this occasion it was great to see three small market towns had been shortlisted which makes the award feel more equitable.

“The council is really proud.”