One of the noisiest, shoutiest and most boisterous sports played in H&F reached a deafening climax in White City as dodgeball came to town.
With 32 teams from the borough’s primary schools taking part, there seemed to be boundless enthusiasm for a tournament in which the aim is to target your opponents before they get you.
Co-ordinated by Calum Fairley, the borough’s energetic school sports and games organiser, the event pitted teams of six against each other... each frantically trying to avoid flying soft foam balls while rushing around, attempting to fling them back at their rivals.
“It sums up the spirit of school games,” said Calum, shouting to make himself heard over the din in the sports hall of Burlington Danes Academy in Wood Lane.
“There was an overwhelming positive response from all involved, with the sport combining passion, self-belief, respect, honesty, determination and teamwork.”
The Year 5 and Year 6 youngsters loved the rowdy, high-intensity non-contact sport.
Several of the schools taking part brought their inclusive children along, as well as children who do not normally take part in games. “They had a really enjoyable experience too,” said Calum. “They all felt part of the teams representing their schools.”
Spread over two separate dates, dodgeball involved a total of 24 schools (some fielding a couple of teams, because so many wanted to take part)… with the goal being fun, enjoyment and co-operation rather than out-and-out victory.
In the final, All Saints were all-square against St John’s... with All Saints squeaking home in sudden-death extra time.
“But it really was all about participating, fairness and energy – the essence of dodgeball,” said Calum, now busy trying to meet the demand for future tournaments.
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