Norwich church at heart of community fun day

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One year on from the Olympic torch relay, a family fun day organised by a Norwich church shows that local community spirit and enthusiasm is alive and thriving.

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A Community Games day was held by Holy Trinity Church where hundreds of people from the local area enjoyed a day of sport, music and entertainment.

The event was held at the Jenny Lind Park and the nearby Bignold School field on Saturday June 29. It was part of an initiative started by Holy Trinity last year for the Vauxhall Street area of its parish. 2012 gave the church the chance to celebrate the Jubilee and the Games, and the opportunities that this created has been continued into 2013.

The Community Games enabled the church to work closely with: the YMCA; the City Council's Community Engagement Team; local police and shopkeepers; neighbouring churches; and the local primary school. The event was also part of this year's 'virtual' Torch Relay which mirrors the route the Olympic flame took in 2012.

Tim Stapleford, a member of Holy Trinity Church organised this event on day 43 of the relay. Tim said,  "The event was an amazing day of sport, music and social cohesion. Many who couldn't attend prayed for the event. Friendships were forged; existing ones strengthened and the sun shine down! It was a successful demonstration of how a community centred vision, modelled on Jesus' expression of love for people of all cultures and home backgrounds, can work. The day brought together people across a very diverse city community in a new and exciting way."

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There were plenty of opportunities for people to try sports activities – children and adults scaled the heights of the mobile climbing wall, went head-to-head in the inflatable obstacle course. Mini go-karts, tennis and football competitions ensured there was an activity to appeal to everyone.

Musicians from Holy Trinity Church entertained the crowds and picnickers enjoyed the Norwich Youth For Christ Gospel Choir at lunch time. There was a street dance performance in the afternoon where dancers from the Belvedere Centre All Stars dance group invited members of the audience to join in with their routines.

Jenny, a local resident from Portland Street said, “I just happened across the event today and my kids are loving it. All the activities are affordable so my two have had their faces painted and been on the bouncy castle a few times each. There’s a really nice atmosphere.”

Norwich City Council, Norfolk Police and the YMCA were amongst the groups giving out local information. The Community Games in Norfolk is a joint initiative between the YMCA Norfolk and Active Norfolk.

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Pictured above: AllStars dancers, event organiser Tim Stapleford was awarded with a Community Games relay shirt, May pole dancing in the park.

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