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Reepham students pioneer new sport

PUBLISHED: 05:38 01 December 2011

Reepham Raiders Dodgeball team: Back: Ed Skinner, Tamas Ward, Ryan Borley, James Warne. Front: Oli Barber, Henry Skinner, Tom Newsome.

Reepham Raiders Dodgeball team: Back: Ed Skinner, Tamas Ward, Ryan Borley, James Warne. Front: Oli Barber, Henry Skinner, Tom Newsome.

Archant

Dodgeball has shot to prominence since the hit movie in 2004 and a Norfolk school has taken on the responsibility to teach the five D's from the film: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.

Reepham High School and College has become the first school in the UK to offer dodgeball as part of the curriculum at KS3.

It is compulsory at KS3 level for pupils aged between 11-14 and is available as an option at KS4 level for pupils aged between 14-16.

Head of PE Katie Lake said: “It is an amazing achievement to be the first school to offer the sport on the curriculum.

“The success of dodgeball at Reepham High School has been beyond my dreams. I can’t believe the take up in numbers ever since I introduced it to the school.”

Reepham High School and College can also boast producing five England internationals.

Ed Skinner, 19, has represented the England men’s side and holds the title for the UK’s fastest throw at 68mph. Skinner left the college earlier this year and is now studying at Easton College. Reepham’s other representative in the full men’s squad is 16-year-old Tom Newsome.

Both Skinner and Newsome competed in the European Championships held in Sweden along with Lake who represented the England Women’s team.

Lake, who first became involved in dodgeball in 2009, is also England Women’s coach, UK Women’s and Girls development officer and Norfolk development officer.

Henry Skinner, brother to Ed, and Tamas Ward are also part of the England U19 side.

Lake first set-up dodgeball at Reepham in 2009 after passing her Level Two coaching award and it has gone from strength to strength. There are now more than 100 pupils involved in dodgeball clubs at the school.

Lake added: “Dodgeball has many advantages over other sports, but none more than its absolute accessibility.

“It is played right across the world by people of all ages, sexes and sporting abilities. Pupils absolutely love playing the sport and you can tell how successful it has been with the numbers attending the clubs.”

The school has two age groups, the U14 section has between 70-80 pupils attending each session and the U16s have around 30 pupils. Lake has also expanded the sport beyond the school to the town. Reepham Raiders are the only Norfolk representative in the dodgeball leagues and they compete in the UK University league.

n The Reepham Raiders College team finished second in the University and College Dodgeball Championships at Cranfield University, Bedford.

After cruising through the group stages and third round, the Raiders were up against Derby Seahawks in the quarter-finals, where they managed to hold onto victory. The semi-finals saw them up against a strong team from Southampton and again the Raiders were triumphant.

In the final they faced the daunting challenge of taking on Warwick Warriors, tournament winners for the previous three years.

The Raiders were finally outclassed but left the tournament with their heads held high.

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