Betfair features Witcham’s World Pea Shooting Championship on 2015 alternative sports calendar

Reigning champion Rob Bresler in action at last year's championship.

Reigning champion Rob Bresler in action at last year's championship. - Credit: Archant

Online betting company Betfair has compiled a 2015 Alternative Sports Calendar – and its entry for July is the World Pea Shooting Championship.

Alex Harrison, Anthony Bottazzi, Martin Skerrrett and Tom Evans, from Chatteris, at last year's even

Alex Harrison, Anthony Bottazzi, Martin Skerrrett and Tom Evans, from Chatteris, at last year's event. - Credit: Archant

It features alongside international chess boxing, water bombing, gravy wrestling and the UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships, among others.

This is Betfair’s preview to the competition, in Witcham on Saturday, where Haddenham’s Rob Bresler will look to make it four titles in a row.

To view the calendar, click here.

There’s certainly none that could be said to hold a closer place in the hearts of the good people of Witcham, that’s for sure.

Held every year since 1971, the idea for the Pea Shooting World Championship initially came from the late John Tyson, who was headmaster of the village school at the time, as a way to raise money for the village hall.


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The story goes that Mr Tyson noticed two schoolchildren messing around by pelting their classmates with peas and, after confiscating the instruments, had the brainwave that led to the championship.

It’s unlikely he could have envisaged the sport gaining such a cult following, but it did.

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Competed mainly by locals, the championships do attract contestants from as far afield as the USA, which certainly dispels the myth that Americans know nothing of England other than London!

Growing in popularity time after time, last year actually saw the second-highest number of entrants on record take place.

However, despite increasing and international interest, it has been the same name on the John Tyson Shield for the last three years. Rob Bresler, from Haddenham, claimed victory in 2012, 2013 and again in 2014.

The championships are clearly among the most alternative sports on the calendar, and actually play a core role at the heart of the yearly village fair, which brings everyone together for fun, games, food and drink.

It’s a great way for the village hall to raise vital funds for maintenance, with last year’s event bringing in a total of £2,500.

So, why not make your way down to the village this summer for the championship and fair. Anyone can take part, though you can just enjoy the spectacle itself. Whatever you decide, it all takes place on Saturday 11th July and is sure to be great fun for the whole family.

If you’re thinking about taking part this year and want to know the rules, here’s what you need to know:

• Peas provided by organisers are the only ones allowed

• You can use laser sights for accuracy

• Competitors must stand 3.5m from the target

• Open to everyone but only the 16 top scorers progress to the final

• Blowpipes must be 30cm long

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