THE ORGANISERS of the All England Open Stone Skimming Championships are encouraging more women to take part in the event, as part of Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign.

South Cumbria Rivers Trust (SCRT) is hoping that rising star Charlotte Greenway will serve as inspiration to other women, and encourage them to participate in the sport.

The championships require competitors to keep their stone in the marked lane, skip it at least three times, and achieve the longest distance to win.

Charlotte managed a record of 45 metres at Bishops’s Castle in Shropshire, a distance never before seen from a woman at Windermere, in part due to the Lake District climate and the sheer size of the lake.

SCRT believe Charlotte’s success will not only encourage more women to get involved with stone skimming, but to achieve record throws of their own.

SCRT trustee Julius Barratt said: “We rarely see women stone skimmers come to the fore and shine. We have long wanted to encourage more women to have a throw.”

They hope Charlotte’s success will change this, as well as the appearance of Heather Ashton, another top female skimmer who organises the Bishop Castle event.

Barratt added: “We need to spread the ‘This girl Can’ message in this sport, just as much as in others. We hope that role models like Charlotte Greenway can help us do that.”

In the men's contest, the championships will see a fierce battle for supremacy being waged, as reigning ‘ruler’ of the toss, Ron Long, takes on all-comers, which will include two-times champion Kevin Waltham and new stone lord from recent championships in Shropshire, Alex Lewis. Ron’s all-conquering performance in the Welsh Stone Skimming Championships this year could, however, be an omen of things

to come.

Whilst the SCRT judges show their metal in all weathers, National Trust rangers will be entertaining all the family with activities based around stones and the great outdoors. There will also be hearty ales on hand from Coniston Brewery, a barbecue and various stalls to browse

New sponsor ‘Kendalife’ will be giving visitors samples of its new nutritious superfruits smoothie packed with 24 vitamins and minerals, 15g of protein and 55g of real fruit per serving – just the boost some competitors may need, or the meal replacement dedicated judges may require whilst adjudicating through lunch. Made in Kendal, by FSB and Worldpay ‘Business of the Year 2017’, Kendal Nutricare, it will launch in the UK in late summer, so this will be a sneak preview of what is to come.

The All England Championship will take place at Fell Foot Park in Windermere, on Saturday, August 19, from 11am to 4pm. Classes include Men’s, Women’s, 10 and under, and 11-16.

Entry is open to all, with fees of £3 for an adult and £1 per child.