Wellington boot-throwing may not be an Olympic sport – yet – but in terms of audience participation it must rank more highly than any of those on the list for Rio in 2016. The World Wellington Boot Throwing Championship, organised for the sixth year running by Wellington Experience, a small group of volunteers “who want to put Wellington on the map” according to organiser Sue White, attracted record-breaking crowds and throwers from 6 to 60+ to the grounds of Court Fields Community School at the weekend. Even younger ones got in a bit of early practice for competition in the years ahead.
Apart from enthusiastic – and impressive – welly-throwing there was much to enjoy for both children and adults at the event: Waitrose organised a welly-boot decorating competition and WAG (Wellington Action Group for Dogs) hosted a very popular dog show which, alongside more conventional classes, included those for the ‘Most Handsome Dog’, ‘The Dog Most Like its Owner’ and ‘The Dog with the Waggliest Tail’. There was a dog and duck display and Stephen Harrison of ‘One Man and his Gun Dog’ put on an impressive demonstration of dog-handling.
Wellington and District Sports Federation organised free ‘Give it a Go’ sessions in archery, fencing, squash, tae kwon do, tennis and rugby for both children and adults which attracted lots of interest and there was live music from Wellington Folk Music players.
To make this a genuinely enjoyable day out for the whole family there was a bouncy castle, children’s entertainers, free face-painting by Nynehead Under 5’s Pre-school & Forest School, a gyroscope and a play cage. A hog roast, bars and food stalls provided refreshments and a range of local organisations and charities supported the event with stands. Local businesses provided raffle prizes with the proceeds going to Wellington Silver Band.
Organiser Sue White said, “I’m really delighted with the response this year. We had more stalls than ever, more people turning up to watch and take part – and the weather was good too! Everyone seemed to have had a wonderful time. No throwing records were broken this year but George Street Massive won the team event for the third year running! I would like to thank the committee, the various organisations who joined us this year, the competitors, visitors and all the volunteers for helping us make this another successful event. We will put whatever money is left over once our costs are covered towards next year’s event.”
Trophies were awarded to individuals and teams at the end of the event and every one of the entrants to the Under 10 event was awarded a medal by Wellington Carnival Chairman Dave Rylatt.
Six & under – Harry Horne
Ten & under: Boys – Kai Escott; Girls – Daisy Farrow
Sixteen & under: Boys – Jimmy Cooper; Girls – Emily Mears
Adult Male – John Norvell; Female – Sam Cottey
Disabled male & female – Sam Rickward
Over 60’s – Jane Tatam
Team – George Street Massive
The World Wellington Boot Throwing Championship is an event which is growing in size and popularity each year. It joins the Food Festival earlier this month and the Wellington Carnival on the last Saturday in September in making the beginning of autumn an especially vibrant time in the town’s calendar.