Live and kicked! The Shank National Championships are back after battling the health and safety forces and the Covid epidemic
- The event in Gloucestershire has attracted thousands of people since the 17th century
- But it has been canceled over the past two years due to coronavirus restrictions
- After a £5,000 funding payment from the council, she will be back next year
The old ‘sport’ that sees competitors hopping on each other’s legs will finally make a comeback after overcoming the Covid pandemic and health and safety concerns.
The National Shinkicking Championships at Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, has drawn thousands of spectators since first seeing the light of day in the early 1600s.
However, the fantastic event has been canceled over the past two years as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.
But after a £5,000 funding increase from the county council, the Games will return in 2022.
The National Shinkicking Championship at Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, has drawn thousands of spectators since first seeing the light of day in the early 1600s.
- Competitors will be assigned spells at random, with the winners of all rounds entering the final match.
- Normally, there will be a maximum of 12 contestants.
- Runners must wear long pants or tracksuits and can slow down their leg with a straw.
- They will be provided with white coats representing the traditional dress of a shepherd.
- The shoes may be sneakers or soft-toed boots. Any form of metal-reinforced toe on shoes is expressly prohibited.
- Failure to comply will result in immediate disqualification, and ban from future events.
- The opponent begins by grabbing his opponent by the shoulders with his arms outstretched.
- The competition will be started and ended and judged by a referee known as a Stickler. Stickler decides how fair the contest is.
- The contest is decided on the best three throws – that is, two successful throws that lead to a win.
- Note that this may be reduced to one throw in bad weather, or the maximum number of opponents are reached.
The money from the “Build Back Better Market Towns” pot is designed to help revitalize struggling local economies and has been hailed by Robert Dover’s Games Society, which operates the Cotswold Olympics, during which the popular Shin-kicking event takes place.
It has been heralded as a victory not only over Covid, but also over modern health and safety requirements that enthusiasts consider an unnecessary intrusion.
Andy Norton, President of the Robert Dover Games Association, said: “We are so grateful for the help of Gloucestershire County Council, which means we can feel confident that 2022 Olympic Cotswolds will be an unforgettable day for our local community, as well as the hundreds of visitors we expect from farther afield.
While all members of the Robert Dover Game Association give their time and energy free of charge, there are many costs associated with placing this event.
These include sports equipment, marquee rentals, fireworks, torches for display after the games, building materials for castle restoration on the hill, bollards and fencing, entertainment fees, generator rentals, hop-up rentals, bins and toilets, transportation to and from Dover Hill and security services.
In addition to all of these operational costs, we are also making a number of improvements to our website to increase online tickets, donations and merchandise sales.
This will help us get a head start on our funding for the Games after 2022.”
But former Sports Secretary Richard Caburn has distanced himself from stirring up the fanatical fan base.
The great event has been canceled for the past two years due to coronavirus restrictions
He told the newspaper: ‘Can it be defined as a sport? I think it’s barbaric.
Is there a skill set? I think the best thing is for people not to do it. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t fall under any definition of a sport.
“It’s not something that’s going to happen, put it that way. You definitely won’t be in the Olympics. I think it’s crazy.