Annual Downham Market sporting event launches

Downham Games 2018 launch, Downham Town Council offices. 'Three Cheers for the Launch of the 2018 Downham Games'LtoR, Cllr Charlie Pyatt, Frances Rayner (Games Organiser), Julie Mc Gee (Games Volunteer), Cllr Frank Daymond (Downham Mayor).
Downham Games 2018 launch, Downham Town Council offices. 'Three Cheers for the Launch of the 2018 Downham Games'LtoR, Cllr Charlie Pyatt, Frances Rayner (Games Organiser), Julie Mc Gee (Games Volunteer), Cllr Frank Daymond (Downham Mayor).

Preparations are underway for this year’s Downham Games as the sporting event officially launched this week.

Organisers met with town council representatives for the launch on Wednesday, as the authority is a long-term supporter of the summer fixture.

Town mayor Frank Daymond said: “The town council has a vested interest in encouraging people to exercise and participate in sport and wants to support this great event which adds real value to the town calendar of events.

“I was around in 2012 when the Games started and have watched it grow year-on-year.

“Last year as deputy mayor it was a real pleasure to visit the Games and see how everyone loves the event and this year I will definitely be there once again, you never know I might even take part!”

Councillor Charlie Pyatt takes a keen interest in the event and has pitched to the council on their behalf for funds.

“I have attended some of the organising meetings and been a volunteer at the event for several years and know that the organisers spend the money wisely and provide an amazing day out for everyone who takes part,” he said.

“The town council are pleased to provide some funding and leave Frances Rayner and her colleagues to get on with it.”

The Games will take place on Sunday, June 10 at the Memorial Fields in Downham.

Mrs Rayner, who organises Downham Games, said: “This year we want to build on previous themes – encouraging young people aged 11 to 17 and This Girl Can campaign by adding a very important element – improving mental health and wellbeing through taking part in healthy activity.

“Mental health is a huge challenge in the community and has no boundaries in terms of age and gender, but it is proven that healthy activity can really help, which is why we have several ideas we are exploring.

“If there are any organisations that feel they can contribute to this theme then they must get in touch.”

Activities such as nerf gun wars, athletics, archery, tennis and cycling are expected to make a return, and over the coming months Mrs Rayner will be working with other volunteers to build on previous years’ success and offer some new opportunities.

“The Games gives organisations and individuals the chance to promote their activities through either having an activity that people can try or having a stand demonstrating their products or services,” Mrs Rayner said.

“As long as it is linked to health, fitness and wellbeing, we would welcome them.”

The first organising meeting will take place on January 26 at 6pm and anyone who would like to get involved can come along.

Mrs Rayner said: “Volunteers are never easy to find, and we are lucky that we have some really supportive individuals who have stuck with it from the start.

“However new ideas and new support is very much welcome, and I would like to hear from anyone interested in getting involved.”

If you are interested in volunteering or wanting to bring your activity to the Games, please get in touch with Mrs Rayner at francesrayner68@gmail.com or 07802 448836.

She said: “A thank you also goes to Downham Tandoori, Arbuckles and Cooperative Funeral Services who have also pledged funding.”