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A big week for local sports in the Forest of Dean!

Posted on 21st November 2016

Although many of us think of the area exclusively as a picturesque sanctuary for holidays, the Forest of Dean and its local area is increasingly gaining a profile for its world of local sports. This week has been one of huge success for various regional teams and charitable endeavours across the region who have taken to the great outdoors of the Forest in order to show off their talents and determination.


Bream RFC’s first win for 18 months

A Forest of Dean rugby club has been praised after winning their first game in 18 months, which could mark a turn in their regional league performance. According to an article by Gloucestershire Live, Bream won by two points in a match against Brockworth, a game that was full of excitement.

The John Lewis memorial game began at a high pace, and saw much back-and-forth between the two teams as local crowds watched enraptured. In the final ten minutes, however, Bream really came into their own as the game ended with a brilliant turnover. As the Gloucestershire Live commented, “faced with scrums, driving lineouts and crash ball running, they never faltered” and made the local sporting community proud.

Increased funding for young cricket team

It’s not just rugby that is making its mark in the Forest. After being founded in 2014, the Forest Exiles junior cricket team has been going from strength to strength, a growth which has recently been recognised by the Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association, who just donated £500 to the club to assist with developing their junior section.

Forest Exiles secretary, Dan Keddle told the Review: “We already have one of our players embarking on a winter coaching course and we have big plans to start rolling out junior cricket from next April. We have already run some junior sessions and have plenty of interest. This funding will give us a great start to next season.

Regional Co-op teams play rounders for charity

As much as the Forest of Dean is gaining a competitive edge in local sports, the charity sports events organised by local groups are equally impressive. One notable example comes from the team at the Midcounties Co-op in the Forest, who recently pitted themselves against their colleagues in other stores to compete in a rounders tournament for charity.

In the inter-store tournament, employees from stores across the region played each other and raised £500 for charity, which will be shared between charities in Stroud, Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean Children’s Opportunity Centre. Leadership team ambassador at the Midcounties Co-operative in the Forest, Chris Chandler, told the Forest of Dean Review in an article on the event:

“As well as enjoying a day of exciting action, we’re really pleased to have raised £500 to be split between The Forest of Dean Children’s Opportunity Centre, as well as our partner charities in Stroud and Cheltenham, enabling them to continue the excellent work they do for communities in all three regions.”

Local boy’s charity swing success

From swinging a rounders bat to swinging at extreme height, The Forest Review also reported on a man who recently embarked upon one immense task. Tom Bendall suffered from severe brain injuries in 1998 when he was hit by a car in Aylburton and told he might not walk again. However, far from letting this hold him back, Tom has made huge progress in the past two years through physiotherapy and personal gym training. Such was his determination that Tom decided he wanted to raise money for The Lodge, Chepstow rehabilitation home in Tutshill, where he has lived since 2011.

So, he decided to attempt a charity swing. This dream came true recently as friends and family watched him jump off a 245ft-high swing at the National Diving Centre. His mother, Pam Bendall, told The Review:

“It was lovely to have a good crowd of family and friends to cheer him on. The fundraising has gone really well and is now well over his target of £2,000.” The funds raised will be spent on a piece of gym equipment to help others in a similar position.

Image Credit: Uncle Saiful (Visualhunt)