Weird Sport: Cheese Rolling
Hundreds of mostly English folk and some around the world gather around either spectate or participate in the annual cheese roll event in a small town called Gloucester, England. Gloucester’s annual competitive cheese roll race is called and located at Cooper’s. For hundreds of years, English men and women gathered for this specific event but the event had many other festivities going on as well throughout this historical game. For instance, other games such as bobbing for apples, dancing round the maypole, shin-kicking, tug-of-war and wrestling used to be played. Hundreds of people still meet today, but it just happened that none of those games occur anymore as the cheese roll game has trumped all others as the main event.
The cheese roll race is held on the last Monday of May and starts at exactly noon. This race consists primarily of a brave group of individuals who have the courage to run down an extremely steep hill to catch a cheese roll that also rolls down the hill. The consequences of running in this race can be severe to the body. The goal and purpose of those participating is to catch the cheese roll, but if you are a spectator the key is to laugh unbearably at the participants who fall painfully into injury.
In the modern day, there are four different times during the year when the rolling of the cheese event take place. The men and women who want to participate just show up the day before the event to play. The only fee for those who engage in rolling down the hill will be for the hospital trip bill that could end up having to take place because of the height severity of the hill.
The men and women are separated into two different groups of twenty for safety precautions. Not only do those who run in it get hurt, but also those watching get hurt all the time. Spectator’s injuries can be caused by the actual cheese roll or from someone rolling into them on the hill!
The head chairmen of the event, who is clothed in white overalls and white top hat cautions those come at your own risk. Families prefer to leave kids at home in case of accidents that their son or daughter might potentially fall down the hill. Whoever wins the race and runs to the bottom of the mightily steep hill, victoriously receives the cheese roll that he or she chased down.
Some sports are bland, thrilling and foolish. The cheese rolling competition is certainly worth a laugh and tip of the hat for those that do it because it is definitely a gruesome, painful sport. That being said, would you be willing to chase a big wheel of cheese?
Photo by: John Hudson Webmaster cheese-rolling.co.uk