The sun shone as around 60 residents from the Forncetts headed off in their bright orange T-Shirts on Sunday 14 July to take part in the small category of the Village Games County Finals having qualified from the South Norfolk District Finals a few weeks earlier. Many had taken up the Parish Council's generous offer as detailed in last month's Flyer to travel by coach which had started off from the village hall and which had picked up our Forncett End team members from the Jolly Farmer's car park.
Everyone was keen to improve on last years result when we won a bronze medal by coming third in only our first year of entering. Many of the village residents had attended extra training sessions in their events to make sure they were prepared for the big day, which included darts, archery, fitness triathlon and athletics just to mention a few. The opening ceremony began with Olympic judo player Colin Oates, who delivered a motivational speech to participants, and archer Amy Oliver, who shot balloons on a target to mark the start of competition.
It was clear from the start that the competition was much tougher this year as everyone seemed to have stepped up a gear and this made for some really good competitive games all of which were played in the right spirit. The event was well organised and the venue perfect. Everyone was supporting each other and one of the great advantages of our T-Shirts is that we are very easy to spot! There were some surprising results throughout the day, one of which came from our rounders team who had been practicing hard under the watchful eye of Amy and Helayna. They went from not winning a single game last year to winning every one of their league matches this time easing into the final against our neighbouring village Aslacton and Gt Moulton and narrowly missing out on winning by a few points. Prior to the finals we had also managed to fit in a rounders practice against Ashwellthorpe which resulted in a very enjoyable evening which we hope to repeat soon.
Video by Brian Frith:
Again everyone played their part and gave it their all (as you can see by the accompanying photos) and as the day came to a close the short mat bowls team were still playing to see who would be crowned champions whilst the rest of the competitors and supporters headed to the main hall for the closing ceremony. Tension mounted as the trophies for individual events were presented and to our joy we found out that the experienced short mat bowls team of Martin and Rebecca Humphreys and Tony Ottewell had managed to get the winning shot in the very last end of the day and were presented with individual trophies to keep - although Rebecca couldn't stop to collect hers as the cows were patiently waiting to be milked back home!
Ellen Vanlint, the Sports Development Project Officer from Active Norfolk stepped up the tension by leaving the small villages until last having announced the winners of the large and medium villages. Having heard some of the individual results it was clear that the overall winner this year was going to be the North Norfolk village of Docking and when Methwold were announced as Bronze medallists it looked like it wasn't going to be Forncetts year this time.
However to the great delight of all the team, ranging in age from 8 to 74, the Forncetts had managed to achieve runners up only missing out on being overall winners by five points. When the result was announced we were all rather excited to say the least and Brian Frith who had come along to support us managed to get this on camera and we are all now starring on You Tube (just type in Forncett Flyers - it's worth a look!). Everyone was awarded a silver medal and was absolutely delighted with the result.
As the co-ordinator of the Village Games for the Forncetts for the last two years I would like to say that this is a fantastic achievement which was only possible due to the dedication and huge effort that everyone involved has put in. I feel it has really brought the village together and I have met people I have never seen before even though they have lived in the village for several years. It has been a great chance for people to get involved in sport and in some cases, such as Archery, the chance to compete in something different. It is a good way of keeping us all fit and healthy, and great because it is a chance for people of all ages to meet up and to have some fun along the way. We have also used several local facilities not just in Forncett but other local venues for our table tennis, badminton, football, rounders and tennis practices. Some members have booked into the 'Get Into' courses through the Active Norfolk website to try and get better at their chosen event and they have met new people this way.
We have also managed to fit in a lovely social evening since the finals which was a chance for everyone to get together. Again we were lucky with the weather and we took part in a fun game of cricket and rounders and it was evident that we have some really strong players who had not played this year but would be more than capable of joining in another time. I am very grateful to everyone for taking part this year and making it such a success - I do not want to leave anyone out so won't mention names but what a great Team Effort!
We have recently had articles published in the Wymondham Mercury and Diss Express and I will be sending updates soon for the Forncett Info website. We also now have a dedicated Facebook Group page for Forncett Flyers for all the photos etc - don't worry if you are not on Facebook as I will still be sending information out by email. It's worth having a look at the Active Norfolk website page too as the full results of the day are now published and these show how very close to winning we were - to put this into context we would have won easily last year with the points we got this year! Our philosophy has always been anyone living in the Forncetts is welcome so if you would like to be involved next time please let me know.
As for the Forncetts? Well we will all be having a well deserved break over the next few weeks - not least because the harvest beckons! Hopefully, however, we will be taking part again next year and having achieved the bronze and silver medals we will really have to keep going for gold so keep up the hard work - the only way is up!
Glen Humphreys - Village Games Coordinator for the Forncetts.