Sports Update by Chris Lines

IN THE SPORT THIS MONTH...
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Sports Update

These continue to be really challenging times for grass roots sport, as COVID continues to exert an influence on events, competition and training. While on one hand, official restrictions have been eased, the recent spike in cases has led to many volunteer led organisations taking understandable precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved in their sport. If you are active in any of these clubs and sports, keep a close eye on their communications channels for the latest news.

Email club reports to Chris Lines: chrisjlines@aol.com
Youth teams - please call Tony Magee on 07837 114 271 if you would like him to report on your club or matches.

Athletics

Sedgefield Harriers will host the club's next big event on Sunday 19th September. The ever popular Sedgefield Serpentine returns and for the first time, you can enter online at www.muddyroads.co.uk/event/sedgefield-serpentine-10km-2021.

Starting and finishing at Sedgefield Cricket Club, the race follows a scenic off-road route of approximately 10k on beautiful paths and trails around Hardwick Park and Bishop Middleham. Cost of entry is £11 for runners in affiliated clubs and £13 for everyone else (minimum age for entry is 16).

Thanks to the support of Muddy Roads and Up & Running, there will be chip timing for the first time this year, and there will be prizes in plenty of categories for men and women, including for veterans and teams. Subject to any COVID restrictions by that date, the event will be followed by refreshments in the club grounds – family and friends will be welcome. Keep an eye on the club's website www.sedgefieldharriers.co.uk and social media (@sedgeharriers on Twitter and www.facebook.com/ sedgefieldharriers for updates.

Find out more at www.sedgefieldharriers.co.uk

Cricket

Congratulations to Sedgefield Cricket Club's Mike Ridley, who was named 'Outstanding Services to Coach Development 2021' winner in the Durham Cricket Coach Awards. Mike does a fantastic job of coaching young players at the club, and also bringing through the next generation of cricket coaches. He is a great ambassador for Sedgefield Cricket Club and for grass roots sport in general.

The award was presented to Mike at the Riverside ground in Chester-le-Street, during Durham's recent game against Hampshire.

Parkrun

Since the last update, Sedgefield parkrun has returned, back after a long, COVID-enforced break. Since it launched in March 2012, the event has provided a great route into active lifestyles for so many people. As well as that, it has encouraged others to volunteer and has been the catalyst for the formation of new and valued friendships along the way.

Free for everyone to participate, Sedgefield parkrun has become the perfect start to the weekend, giving participants the opportunity every Saturday to register a timed run, jog or walk of 5k in the stunning setting of Hardwick Park (the cafe has done pretty well out of parkrun in the process!).

Over 10,000 different individuals have completed at least one Sedgefield parkrun since its foundation and its absence from the start of the pandemic had been keenly felt by a lot of people in our community. So the return (with a few changes to encourage social distancing) has been joyful, and as ever, only made possible by the continued commitment of volunteers. Just as exciting is the imminent return of Sedgefield junior parkrun (weekly 2k runs for children aged 4 to 14. After an appeal for some extra help over the summer, the team is preparing to restart on Sunday 12 September.

You can find out more about both events on www.parkrun.org.uk, www.facebook.com/sedgefieldparkrun & www.facebook.com/sedgefieldjuniorparkrun

Squash

Squash is now back in full swing, with clubs gearing up for the new season ahead. Sedgefield Squash Club's summer team competition is nearing its conclusion and I will share results in the next update.

Looking to the future, the club is preparing for two events: Women's Squash Week from 19th–26th September; and the 20th anniversary of World Squash Day on 9th October. The club is in the planning stage for the women's event, and one activity will be to offer taster sessions to all ages with a view to raising the profile of the sport within the community.

Sedgefield's ladies team are reigning Durham & Cleveland champions and will be around to answer any questions and provide encouragement to beginners to the sport.

For all coaching contacts, membership and general information, visit the club’s website at www.sedgefieldsquashclub.co.uk.

Croquet

If you're looking for a new outdoor sport to try, why not consider croquet? Although it has a reputation as a 'toff's' game or a pastime for older folk, the truth is quite different. The England croquet captain is in their mid-20s and the current world champion is under 40. It's also one of the few sports in which men and women can play alongside and against each other on an equal footing What's more, there's a croquet club not far from Sedgefield. The Auckland Chilton Croquet Club is located at the Miners' Welfare Recreation Ground in Chilton (behind the Jet petrol station off the A167 roundabout) and the club is keen to welcome new players.

Croquet offers gentle exercise in a pleasant setting, with plenty of fresh air and healthy competition in a friendly atmosphere. You can learn as you play – it's not a difficult game to grasp, although there are skills and strategies to be learned as you develop your game.

It's worth noting that in the past, croquet has been proven to aid in the rehabilitation of stroke victims and it could be an ideal sport for those recovering from long COVID.

Auckland Chilton Croquet Club practices on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 2:00pm until around 4:30pm. You can pay as you play on a daily basis and your first session is free, as is use of the club's equipment. Give the club a call on 07835 103332 or just turn up on the day. All you need is a pair of flat shoes, protective gloves, and a waterproof jacket (just in case!).

Social football

A group of footballers who play at Sedgefield Community College on Tuesday evenings is seeking new players, as numbers have dwindled recently. The players have a broad range of ages (from 18 to mid-50s) and abilities, and while they all want to win, the games are not too competitive and they are not in a league. The sessions are aimed more at having some fun, getting some exercise and helping with mental health by staying active.

The games are also a great way to meet new people and develop friendships. The group aims to play each week with two five or seven-a-side teams, depending on who can turn up. Games take place on the 4G surface adjacent to the primary school, starting at 8:00pm, and the cost is a maximum of £3 per person. If you are interested in playing, send an email to tuesdaykickabouts@gmail.com.

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