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GALLERY: Olympic fever takes over at Ambleside sports
1:56pm Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Shows and Festivals news
OLYMPIC fever took over Ambleside Sports as the traditional one-day sporting spectacular got a boost in registrations.
With a nod to the Games about to start in London, an Olympic torch was carried into the arena by a patriotically dressed man on stilts with accompaniement from the Cumbria Thunder drummers.
Low clouds meant a planned fly-in by local paraglider Dave Robinson could not go ahead until later on in the day. But the forecasted rain managed to hold-off.
Ambleside Sports chairman Jak Hirst said registrations were up on last year, which he suspected was down to the huge buzz created from the London 2012 Games "We knew for a long time that our event was going to be the day before the opening ceremony, so we wanted to do something a bit special," said Mr Hirst. "Our Olympic legacy is we have launched a new sponsorship scheme for young athletes in the area."
One of the showpiece events at the sports is the senior men’s fell race which was won for a second year by Staveley’s Rob Jebb in 14 minutes 31 seconds. He was followed over the line by Wharfedale’s Ted Mason (15-06) and Ambleside’s Ben Abdelnoor (15-24). First lady home was Staveley’s Sharon Taylor (18-44) with the unattached Suzy Brett (19-41) second.
The U12 race was well supported with 78 youngsters taking part and finishing second to Hyndburn’s Joshua Boyle (7-31) was Helm Hill’s Ben Grainger. He said he had been inspired to start running after learning about the Olympics in school. First girl was Mia Walsh, who was eight overall in 8-20, and second was her Helm Hill team mate Imogen Burrow (8-46).
Helm Hill’s Chris Richards romped to victory in the U14 race, beating Keighley and Craven’s James Lund with 22 seconds to spare. Helm Hill’s Katherine Lawson, who was 11th overall, won the girls’ race in 12-38.
Earlier in the day Ellenborough’s Ricky Lightfoot won the Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round, a nine-mile event that takes in the fells that make up the Fairfield Horseshoe. It was his second year as champion.
“It’s a tough course, you’ve got to go for it all the way round,” he said.
Winning the the senior fell classic hound trail race was a five-year-old canine called Glen. Owner Jenny Bland, 15, of Dent, said she normally gave the dog a rock cake as a treat for winning. It was the third time that the dog had won the race.
Connie Hodgson, 16, of Dent won the women’s Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling open which has only been running for three years. In that time Connie has won it twice and come second once.
“The key is to keep your opponent moving,” said Connie.
The Brocklebanks of Warton also had a successful day in the ring with the final of the 14 stones being a family affair between 17-year-old Ben and older brother Graham. Graham's extra strength and experience proved decisive.
Ben took second place in the under-18 years and 11 and a half-stone events.
The under-18 years was won by Matthew Atkinson, of Selside, and the all-weights winner was Stewart Fleming, of Backbarrow.
People were given the opportunity to build a helter skelter, similar to the Anish Kapoor sculpture in London. Designer Pam Williamson had rolled up newspaper ready for festival-goers to use.
“We wanted to create an interactive art piece in theme with the Olympic celebrations,” said Mrs Williamson, who works at Mill Yard Studios, in Staveley.
Entertainment for the children included sack races and classic fairground rides.