Rain cannot dampen Saddleworth Village Olympic spirit

THE Saddleworth Village Olympics was again a resounding success, despite organisers having to overcome challenges.

The opening ceremony along with the athletics and tug-of-war had to be cancelled following a deluge on the first day of competition.

Co-chairman Adrian Green explained: “It was a real shame to have to cancel the opening ceremony after so many months of preparation by the committee, children and coaches.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, but we had to think about the safety of the children.

“It was also a financial hit as we raise around 10 per cent of our income – around £1,000 – at the opening ceremony.

“The surface was atrocious so we also had to cancel the athletics and tug-of-war that had been due to become a mainstream event this year having been a taster event in 2016.”

The tug-of-war was due to be contested for a trophy in memory of Ben Hilton who died earlier this year.

Fortunately all the other events went ahead and this year hockey was included for the first time as a taster event.

Oldham Hockey Club put on a session on the middle Saturday that attracted 45 children and Adrian added that it will considered as a mainstream sport due to its popularity.

Overall around 1,000 children formed the seven teams that represented the 13 Saddleworth villages.

They contested 12 sports over three weekends with the venues Saddleworth School, Churchill Playing Fields, Saddleworth Pool, Tame Valley Tennis and Squash Club, Saddleworth Rangers and Uppermill Sports Club.

Each of the seven village teams is to hold its own presentation night between October 6-21 and it will only be then that the winning team will be announced.

Adrian also paid tribute to the hard work of co-chair Martyn Roo who is standing down saying he will be difficult to replace and thanked him for his efforts.

He added they are always looking for more committee members.

For a full list of results, go online: www.saddleworthvillageolympics.co.uk


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