Olympic Summer 2011
Olympic Diary 2011
Following the success of the 2010 Olympic weekend it was quickly decided that the three day festival should be repeated in 2011 with even more events.
Word soon spread and the Olympic Committee under the leadership of the resourceful and energetic figure of Shane Hull re-convened as a sub committee of Hethersett Parish Council.
Events quickly slotted into place with a full programme running from Friday July 22nd until Sunday July 24th. Below is a diary with photographs of the events. Photographic albums have also been uploaded to Picasa and are available on the internet by simply clicking on the relevant links.
The Olympic weekend and the events contained within it are testament to what a village can achieve with lots of hard work, enthusiasm and a heap of original ideas.
Sunday July 3rd, 2011 - Hethersett's Got Talent Auditions
The 2010 Olympic Weekend started with the finals of Hethersett's Got Talent in Hethersett Village Hall. It proved so popular that the 2011 event attracted over 23 entries and necessitated the holding of auditions at Woodside School on Sunday July 3rd.
Variety and some very talented acts turned up and made it difficult for the judges to decide who to put through to finals evening. Eventually, after a day of auditions, they plumped for 13 acts covering all ages and many different genres.
More photographs of the auditions are available by clicking here
A Picasa album of photographs taken at the event is available by clicking here
Monday July 4th, 2011 - Historic Torch Relay
Hethersett is still hopeful that the 2012 London Olympics torch relay will come to the village. In the meantime we settled for a piece of Games history in the shape of one of the torches from the last London Olympics in 1948.
Now resident at Loughborough College, the torch came to Hethersett for a special day of celebration around the four schools.
The torch started at Woodside Infant and Nursery School where young and old alike got to hold a piece of history. The day started with the children being joined by residents from Woodcote Sheltered Housing complex. Resident Richard Headicar talked to the children about sport, fitness and the Olympics and then the children made a long "snake" on the school field to pass the torch down the line for their own special moments. The local press were on hand to take photos and interview Head Teacher Nicola Cushion and the event made the front page of the Norwich Evening News. Radio Norfolk also broadcast live from the school as part of the Wally Webb show.
Ms Cushion said the children had "absolutely loved" pretending to be Olympic Athletes.
"We want to use this to talk about the Olympic values. There are seven values which include respect, equality, friendship and excellence. We will use them as part of our curriculum. They are far reaching and the children can embrace them as well as take part in sports events," she told the Media.
From there the torch moved on to Hethersett Junior School, delivered by three young athletes from the village into the safe hands of Head Andy Whittle. The torch formed part of a full school assembly with footage from the actual 1948 Games. The children and staff then formed Olympic style rings to pass the torch round whilst waving flags from a number of countries including the Union Jack. A number of pupils were interviewed for BBC Television's Look East news programme.
Throughout the day two very special Norfolk athletes followed the torch's progress. Paul Evans competed in two Olympic Games - 1992 in Barcelona and 1996 in Atlanta. He finished seventh in the 10,000 metres in Barcelona. In 1996 he came second in the Great North Run and third in the London Marathon and won the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2 hrs 8 mins 52 secs which places him fourth in the United Kingdom all time marathon list. Will Smith from Dereham recently came home with four gold and a silver medal from the World Junior Wheelchair Championships in Dubai. Will, who is just 15 years of age, is already a member of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland junior Paralympic team and has set his sights on the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Paul and Will answered questions from the youngsters about their experiences and signed autographs.
Third stop for the torch was at Hethersett High School where it drew admiring glances and a considerable amount of interest form staff before being incorporated into the school's sports day with several youngsters completing a lap of the track with it whilst Paul Evans organised team games.
Final stop of the day before the torch's safe return to Loughborough, came at Old Hall School where pupils had also been enjoying sports day and were able to follow the torch on a lap of their track.
A Picasa album containing over 170 photographs of the day is available by clicking here.
You can read Eastern Daily Press coverage of the event by clicking here.
Friday July 22nd 2011 - Swimming Marathon
The official Hethersett Olympic weekend kicked off on with pupils at Hethersett Junior School swimming 2012 lengths of the school pool in a symbolic start to the celebrations. Pupils from all year groups and all abilities took part with Radio Norfolk's Wally Webb and Nicky Price broadcasting live from the pool side just before 9 a.m.
The marathon swim started at 8 a.m and continued throughout the morning although it finished after three and a quarter hours which was well ahead of schedule.
"We are very proud to start off the Olympic Weekend and for our school to be part of the celebrations," said Head Teacher Andy Whittle who will also act as starter for Sunday's fun run.
Radio Norfolk's Wally Webb referred to the event as "an amazing challenge" and was most impressed by the fact that after the first hour well over 500 lengths had already been completed.
Andy Whittle presented a bouquet to school swimming teacher Jane Newstead who was joint organiser of the event.
A Picasa album of some of the swimmers, including Nicky Price, is available by clicking here.
Friday July 22nd, 2011 - Hethersett's Got Talent Final
The grand final of Hethersett's Got Talent 2011 provided an evening of excellent quality entertainment with 12 acts vying for the title.
Folk groups, singers, comedy and dance all featured at Hethersett Village Hall giving the judges the almost impossible task of picking a winner.
All ages were represented from six to adult and, after well over two hours, it was one of the "older brigade" who emerged as the winner. The accolade of "top talent 2011" went to singer guitarist David Wyatt.
David admitted that it was the first time he had appeared on stage in front of the public but he showed no signs of nerves with his comedy song about "words" which brought considerable laughter from a packed village hall. Indeed the evening was a sell out long before it took place.
Second place went to Tehya Page and her excellent backing band for her version of TLC's Waterfalls. Third were pop duo Jenna Cole and Francesca Murrell.
Others taking part in such a special evening of music, fun and laughter were: Bonnie Holmes, Ellen Whiting, Quenby Cooper, Izzy Morgan and Imogen Mardell, Ellea Albery, Get the Folk Out, Simon Floyd, Kalia Burgess, Jordan Bromley and Baby Shark.
There was also guest performances from dance act Passion Elite, solo dancer Epic Dance and the hugely talented multi instrumentalist Hayley Moyses who played electric violin and sang. Hayley was also a member of the judging panel alongside young dancer Scott Atkins, Librarian Ben Miller and Jo Thompson from Norfolk County Council.
The evening was compered by Chris Watt and a bouquet was presented to Jo Adcock for leading the organisation of the event. Refreshments were provided by Waitrose and served by Hethersett Pensioners' Association.
David's winning performance was captured by his wife and is available on You Tube. Just click here.
Saturday July 23rd, 2011 - Sport in the Park/Woodcote Open Day
A rather dull day was brightened up by this year's Sport in the Park event where well over 1,000 local people were able to try their hand at over 20 sports and pastimes.
Everything was free of charge and sports available included martial arts, trampolining, boxing, gymnastics, football, cycle speedway, bowls, athletics, table tennis, canoeing, tennis, badminton, karate, volleyball, hockey, lacrosse, Watt Bikes, golf, hoola hoop fitness, speed kick, tug of war and keep fit. Refreshments were supplied by Hethersett Bowls Club, Hethersett Methodist Church and the Queen's Head.
Despite an early event shower, the event stayed rain free and proved once again how important sport and fitness is in a village the size of Hethersett
Woodcote Sheltered Housing complex also held an open day which included a tombola, craft and model display, memorabilia display, a £1 stall, cakes and refreshments and an exhibit of interesting collections and hobbies
To view an album of these events click here
Sunday July 24th, 2011 - Church Service
The day kicked off with a short inter-denominational service in Hethersett Social Club with the rector the Rev Di Lammas speaking on an Olympic theme.
Sunday July 24th - Run The Square Fun Run
People of all ages took part in the two mile fun run which attracted 230 - the youngest being two and a half and the oldest 83..
Some were dressed in fancy gear, some were serious runners, some walked the course, but all enjoyed the experience and received an Olympic medal for competing.
First place went to Ollie Armstrong in a time of 11 minutes and 58 seconds. Others completed the course in a much more sedate pace taking up to 50 minutes.
Runners were set off by Hethersett Junior School Head Andy Whittle and before the run there was a warm up by Norfolk Olympic runner Paul Evans. The run set off from the Junior School and took a course along Queen's Road, part of Great Melton Road, Mill Road, New Road and Norwich Road. There was also a prize for the best fancy dress which was won by Lynn Ottaway dressed as Princess Leia from Starwars.
A photographic diary of the funrun and ladies five a side is available by clicking here.
Sunday July 24th - Ladies Five-a-Side Football Tournament
A ladies five-a-side football tournament took place throughout the day on the Memorial Playing Field with 13 teams taking part.
For the second year running a team from Thorpe Ladies came out on top, beating Coltishall Jaguars 1-0 in the final.
The teams were divided into two groups with the top four in each group going through to the quarter-finals. Full results were as follows:
Group Table (qualifiers in bold)
Group Table (qualifiers in bold)
The trophies and Olympic medals were presented at the end of the tournament by Hethersett Athletic FC chairman Peter Steward and Olympic Committee Chairman Shane Hull.
A photographic diary of the funrun and ladies five a side is available by clicking here.
Sunday July 24th - Last Night of the Proms
Olympic weekend was rounded off by a Last Night of the Proms concert in St Remigius Church led by the Pulham Orchestra. The event was another sell out with additional seats having to be placed in the church naive. It was a fitting and rousing end to Olympic weekend as Gary Wyatt reports:
Hethersett Olympic weekend drew to a patriotic conclusion on Sunday
evening with a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert in St. Remegius
church adorned with red, white and blue for the occasion. The Pulham
Orchestra and Wymondham Youth Orchestra combined forces in a varied
programme of central European and British music. We gathered from the
conductor, Margery Baker, that they had had only three hours rehearsal
together and this probably showed in the slightly shaky start with
Beethoven’s ‘Egmont’ overture, better suited to a much larger
orchestra than this. However, the players then grew in confidence and were
at their best in the more rousing pieces that followed. Young horn soloist
Jack Evans gave a particularly confident rendition of Mozart’s Horn
Concerto no. 3 and the audience whistled along with ‘Colonel Bogey’ to
end the first half.
After the interval, things were very upbeat and ‘Jerusalem’ was added to the programme by special request, with the words projected on a screen for the audience to join in. The evening finished as is traditional on these occasions with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1, again with the words provided for the audience who sang heartily and waved union flags during several encores. A very fitting finale to the weekend and hugely enjoyed by the audience. Tributes to the hard work put in to organise the weekend were given by Duncan Pigg and the chairman of the Hethersett Olympic committee, Shane Hull.
Postscript to the Weekend
Above is a letter from Hethersett Parish Council vice chair Jackie Sutton praising Olympic Open Weekend 2011
Talking to people around the village during Olympic Weekend, one comment seemed to emerge regularly "isn't it wonderful that a village like Hethersett can organise such a fantastic weekend."
The fact is our events are made possible by the hard work of the village Olympic Committee under the leadership of parish councillor Shane Hull. Most people only see the end result but there is a considerable amount of planning that goes on throughout the year. A big thank you to Shane and all his helpers for their efforts.
Playing Field Cheque Presentation
A cheque for over £500 has been presented to Hethersett Memorial Playing Field Trust by residents of Woodcote Sheltered Housing Association from their recent open day.
Resident Richard Headicar is pictured above presenting the cheque for £502.18 to Memorial Playing Field Trust chair Simon Floyd. Also in the photograph are Woodcote Manager Stephen Baxter and Hethersett Parish Councillor Viv Hawes.
The open day was part of the village Olympic weekend and the money will be put towards a specific project:
"Amongst the items the Trust are looking at are a memorial, a concrete table tennis facility, park benches, additional play equipment and an outdoor gym. We will certainly use the money wisely and will be finding out what park users would like to see on the field," Simon Floyd said.
Monday November 7th - Olympic Torch is Coming to Hethersett
Hethersett has been singled out for a special visit from the 2012 Olympic torch on its way to the London games in July next year.
Although our village is not on the official route for the torch, we have been recognised for "outstanding efforts" in support of the London games. That support has seen our Olympic Weekend gain national recognition over the past two years for providing more events per head of population than any other village, town or city in the entire country.
As a result the torch will make a detour to visit us on Thursday 5th July, 2012 as Gary Wyatt reports:
started to go round the village the previous Friday that Hethersett was to
expect an exciting announcement on Monday 7th November. Over the weekend we
learned that all the hard work and lobbying put in by Shane Hull and his
Olympic committee had paid off. The route of the Olympic torch around Britain
next summer was not scheduled to pass through Hethersett, but a special 'off
route' early morning visit of the torch has been arranged for Thursday 5th
July 2012 after it pauses overnight in Norwich and before it continues on its
journey south. This is a great honour for Hethersett, possibly a unique
occasion for the torch route, and is in recognition of the enthusiasm of the
village in organising the Olympic weekend events for the past two years.
"To mark the announcement, BBC Look East visited on Monday evening and did a live broadcast from the Library car park. Hethersett turned out in force, with children from the village schools showing banners and flags for all the region to see on television. Shane and Alice (the high school head girl) were interviewed live by the presenter, which must have been a terrifying experience, but both coped very well. Shane and his team deserve the highest praise for their efforts and we all look forward to next July.
And we even got coverage in the Sun Tabloid Newspaper which you can view by clicking here.
And on the BBC - click here to see this
And in the Evening News - click here to see this
Coming Events - We will be doing it all again
June 22nd-24th, 2012
Hethersett Olympic Weekend 2012 will take place between June 22nd and 24th.