A VERY SPECIAL KNOCKOUT 2017
“It’s a Special Knockout” is a very special event organised by local Lions Clubs and it was recently held at Bede’s School near Hailsham. Now in its 17th year, it was organised by David Burstow from Bexhill club and fellow members from six other Lions Clubs.
This event is for those with Special Needs and Disabilities from across East Sussex and, as always, was very well attended. Each Lions Club sponsors local groups to take part. There were 9 groups represented by over 110 contestants in 13 teams, together with carers, family and friends. Attending for the first time was Westerleigh Judokwai from Battle.
Mayors from several local towns came along, and all got very involved during the day. They were Cllrs. Simon Elford from Bexhill, Pat Hearn from Eastbourne and Nigel Coleman from Hailsham. The Hailsham Town Crier, Lion Geoff Rowe, opened the event with loud bell ringing, and was followed by a display from Sussex Sparks Cheerleaders.
Olympic Ice Dancer and Gold Medal winner Jayne Torvill OBE arrived during the afternoon and mixed with the contestants, signing autographs and posing for photographs. Jayne has a special relationship with Bexhill Lions Club where she is an Honorary Member.
Games played included relay races as well as the ever popular team games including “Dinner for 6”, “Duck Pond”, “Hang out the Washing” and “Postman Pat” with friends and supporters cheering the teams on. It was almost as exhausting for the Mayors, Lions, and helpers who had a lot of exercise and appeared to enjoy assisting the contestants, as for the contestants themselves.
The Mayors, Jayne Torvill and Lions’ Zone Chairman Graham Baldwin judged the Poster and Joker Cards competitions. Entries were of a high standard with Bexhill Gateway winning the Poster Competition.
The mid-way Disco, run by the MC Lion Kevin Hawkins, didn’t seem to diminish their energies – although a lot of the carers and organisers were starting to wilt!
After a well-fought competition by all the teams the overall winner was Grove Park School from Crowborough, second prize went to Westerleigh Judokwai and third prize to Eastbourne Special Olympics.
All the participants received medals and certificates from the Mayors and Jayne Torvill – and the three winning teams received “Knockout Shields”.
”The “Spirit of the Knockout” trophy, sponsored by Bede’s School, was won by Westerleigh Judokwai. It was awarded for their endeavour, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm . The winner was decided by the Bede’s students who helped on the day, who also presented it to the winning team.
The Lions thanked Bede’s School for again allowing their facilities to be used for this very special competition, as well as the support of a large number of their senior students who helped on the day.
In closing the games, Zone Chairman Graham said: “…. another great day for all involved. It is so rewarding to see contestants, supporters and helpers with huge smiles and looks of pure delight on their faces. It is a great pleasure for Lions clubs to arrange this Knockout and we now look forward to 2018”.
Bexhill Gateway Club thanked the Lions and said “We had another excellent day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Winning the poster competition was tremendous and was a real cause for a celebration. We will certainly be back next year.”
If you are interested in participating in next year’s event contact Lion David Burstow on 07703 354569 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Lions club.
For information about Bexhill Lions visit www.bexhill-lions.org or call Lion Rick on 0845 833 9591
Images for the day are in our Gallery (Album Special knockout 2017)