Press Release from the Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of Oxford Spires, organisers of the famous World Pooh Sticks Championships, is delighted to announce that the event will take place this year at Langel Common in Witney on Sunday 7 June from 2pm.
The event started in Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire when the Lock Keeper at Days Lock noticed walkers recreating Pooh’s pastime on the River Thames and hit upon the idea that this would be an excellent way of raising money for his favourite charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The event soon took off and following the Lock Keeper’s retirement, the Rotary Club of Sinodun took over the running of the event for many years, until the event’s 25th anniversary in 2008. They then passed the baton (or Pooh Stick!) on to the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires in 2009 that is proud to carry on this wonderful event.
Earlier this year however the Club announced that it was launching a search for a new venue to run the Championships due to the restrictions of running the ever increasingly popular event at Little Wittenham. The Club received a great response from media and the public to help it find a new location and was approached by West Oxfordshire District Council who suggested the location at Langel Common.
The event will see several Thames Valley Rotary Clubs working together with Oxford Spires including Witney, Eynsham, Bicester, Windsor St George and Wallingford & Sinodun. Over 300 volunteer hours go into running the event on the day alone with another 100+ volunteer hours in the months before for planning and preparation. Stephen Axtell, Club President, said “We are hoping that visitors to the Championships will also take the opportunity to find out more about Rotary as many people are still unsure what this organisation, of over 1.2 million members worldwide, actually does. There are great opportunities in Rotary for young people too in clubs such as Rotakids (7-11 yr olds), Interact (12-18), Rotaract (18-30) and in the Youth Competitions”.
The Rotary Club is also thrilled to be working in partnership with Cogges Manor Farm which is organising a ‘Stick Day’ to join in with the fun alongside the Championships. Colin Shone, Director at Cogges Manor Farm, said “Playing Pooh Sticks is one of the most special and essential memories of any childhood. Cogges is delighted to be supporting the new home for the World Championships.”
Visitors to the event will also have the opportunity to take part in a number of other village fete type activities including tombola, hook-a-duck and a human fruit machine. This great community event is supported by local businesses and all the profits from the event are given to local and national charities supported by the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires who is also committed to the continued support of the RNLI.
Press Release from the Rotary Club
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