June 16 2016.

John Fitzgerald reports on last Saturday's event:

Once again the weather was kind to organisers and participants, so everyone enjoyed an almost cloudless sky and this enabled our biggest ever turn-out of nearly a thousand local people to get thoroughly involved with all the many activities.

The theme this year was Summer of Sport, to reflect the forthcoming Olympics and all the other high profile sporting activities, such as Euro 2016, the Rugby Internationals, Open Championship of Golf etc. This year 45 local sports and social groups were represented and a dozen of them ran sporting challenges around the arena, all of which could be enjoyed by the younger attendees for a nominal charge. On completion of the challenges the participants claimed their Summer of Sport rosette, provided by St. George’s Society, and also a certificate, before enjoying a free burger from the 2nd Denton and South Heighton Scouts BBQ. The certificates were issued courtesy of Active Sussex, who once again supported everyone’s effort this year. Around 200 Scorecards were purchased this year.

It was a pleasure to welcome local MP Maria Caulfield, who has been taking a real interest in local communities. Our VIP guest, together with Councillor Paul Boswell of Newhaven Town Council, helped with many of the afternoon’s attractions and seemed to enjoy the day as much as anyone. Maria opened the event formally and welcomed everyone.

Activities then got underway in the arena, with performances and displays from Denton School Choir, Scriven’s Martial Arts, Earthquake Drummers, Seaford & District Dog Training Club; dancing displays from Norcross Dance Centre, featuring local young people of all ages; Seaford Musical Theatre Singing Princesses again sang their way into the hearts of the audience, Z-Energy Zumba gave us a display of their fun exercise/dance routines. Then we had a new and delightful feature from Duende Flamenco Dancers. This was really interesting, not just because Spain is among the favourites for Euro 2016, but because there were male and female participants of all ages of this great art, and the dancing was appreciated by everyone.

The ever-popular Tug-of-War competitions, with entrants of both male and female teams, closed the arena activities. Crossfit Corinthians men’s and women’s teams both won their respective events against the Earthquake Drummers. We would really like more teams next year……surely Rugby Clubs and other clubs should be able to put out a team or two?

Side shows and games were provided by, amongst others, Newhaven Cricket Club, Newhaven Tennis and Bowls Clubs, Newhaven Indoors Bowls Club, South Heighton Bonfire Society, Connor Saunders’ Football Foundation, Crossfit Corinthians, and others who all used the day to raise much-needed funds and promote membership.

Fete stalls and attractions were provided by other local groups and many charities including JDMF, HCPT (a charity that raises funds to send sick children to Lourdes), Remember Spencer, Just Owls, Meeching Amateur Dramatics (MAD), The Kitchen Garden Company, SCDA, DASH Football, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, IMAGO – Young Carers, Presentable Pooches, Tickles Face Paining and Miranda Bearns-Lowells and her tie-dyeing.

Once again there was the always popular and thrilling bungee trampolining. This was made possible through the funding gratefully received and which allowed exciting challenges to be provided at a heavily subsidised rate for our young people to try out new things.

Pony rides for younger people again proved very popular throughout the afternoon.

Running alongside the sporting activities we were also fortunate to have a Craft Fair in the Denton Community Centre, with a stall selling delicious cakes which your correspondent can vouch for personally.

The Raffle prizes were drawn in the main arena by Councillor Boswell, who awarded the magnificent first prize of an Apple iPad Mini, kindly donated by Keep It Clean Ltd.,  local man Paul Giles. There were a further thirty plus prizes in the mega raffle.

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

Photograph  courtesy of Gary English.

Denton Community Challenge is a committee of volunteers from Denton Church, the James Daniels Memorial Fund, FADS and local residents.

Business support: Brightwell, Co-op Funeral Care, Newhaven Port and Properties, Doggy Solutions, Keep it Clean, Giants Rest, Cycle Shack, Elite Foods, Charlie’s Ices

Charities: Wave Leisure, Active Sussex

Councils: NTC, SHPC

The organisers would like to thank everyone associated with this, the fifth successful DCC. It could not take place without the sponsors, local businesses, stallholders, volunteers, St John Ambulance, South Heighton Parish Council and Newhaven Town Council. Thanks go out to all of them for helping the organisers plan another successful, happy and inclusive day. Tricia Gostock (Secretary) and Cliff Dargonne (Chairman)

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