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June 9 2015.

Thankfully this year the weather was kind to the Denton Community Challenge and despite a stiff breeze everyone enjoyed a cloudless sky which enabled hundreds of local people to get thoroughly stuck into all the activities.

The theme this year was ‘Howzat?’ to reflect the forthcoming Ashes cricket series. This year nearly sixty local sports and social groups were represented and many ran ‘sporting challenges’ around the arena, all of which could be enjoyed for a nominal charge. On completion of the challenges the younger participants claimed their ‘Howzat?’ rosette before enjoying a free burger from the Denton Scouts BBQ. Certificates were also issued courtesy of Gina Rogers from Active Sussex, who once again supported everyone’s efforts this year.

Jim Parks, legendary Sussex and England cricketer from the 60’s and 70’s, together with Norman Baker, who has worked so hard for nearly twenty years representing local communities, together with Steve Saunders, Newhaven’s Mayor, helped with many of the afternoon’s attractions and seemed to enjoy the day as much as anyone.

Activities then got underway in the arena, with displays from Scriven’s Martial Arts and Seaford & District Dog Training Club; dancing displays from Norcross Dance Centre and Up the Tempo Dance School. There was also a drill display from 1218 Squadron Air Cadets and Seaford Musical Theatre Singing Princesses sang their way into the hearts of the audience, while Extend Exercise gave a display. This was followed by the CrossFit Corinthian Family Relay,and the ever-popular Tug-of-War competition with many entrants, including male, female and childrens’ teams. Mums Fitness and CrossFit Training won their respective events.

Sideshows and games were provided by Newhaven Cricket Club, Newhaven Tennis and Bowls Clubs, South Heighton Bonfire Society, Lewes Swimming Club and others who used the day to raise much-needed funds and promote membership.

Fete stalls and attractions were provided by other local groups and charities including JDMF, HCPT (a charity that raises funds to send sick children to Lourdes), Hayden’s Wish, MNDA, Remember Spencer, Easy Dine Catering, The Kitchen Garden Company, Seahaven Bird Rescue, DASH Football, Connor Saunders Football, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, IMAGO – Young Carers, NCI Lookout and Toothfairy Creations.

There was also a climbing wall and bungee trampolining. Both of these were made possible through funding and which allowed these challenges to be provided at a heavily subsidised rate for the young people to try out new things. Additionally there were the ever-popular pony rides for younger people and all of these proved very popular throughout the afternoon.

Running alongside the sporting activities was a Craft Fair in the Denton Community Centre organised by Danni Bruce and a very successful cake competition with many prize-winning creations all judged by the Mayor.
The organisers were delighted to be given two return tickets to New York by Virgin Atlantic as part of the monthly support of local charities. This was won by Terry and Tricia from The Close, Denton.

Raffle prizes were drawn in the main arena by Jim Parks, who awarded the first prize of an Apple iPad Mini, kindly donated by Keep It Clean Ltd., to winner Peggy Cohen, a local lady proudly in her tenth decade. There was a further thirty plus other prizes in the mega raffle.

A signed cricket bat, presented by Sussex CCC, was won by Sam Thomas.

The afternoon was drawn to a close by the Rev. Louis Wilson, Rector of Denton Parish Church, who thanked the many supporters and volunteers who made the day possible.

Denton Community Challenge is organised by a committee of volunteers from Denton Church, the James Daniels Memorial Fund, FADS and local residents. It was well supported by Newhaven Town and South Heighton Parish Councils, by local businesses and charities.

The organisers dedicate this report of a highly successful fund-raising day to the late and greatly missed Amanda Wilkins who was a founder and driving force behind the event.

Tricia Gostock and Cliff Dargonne

* Photograph by Gary English