Weird Sport – Pooh Sticks
For those who aren’t Winnie the Pooh fans this sport is not what it sounds like!
The Wikipedia article covers what Pooh sticks is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poohsticks.
Essentially the participants stand on a bridge over a slow running river and drop a stick into the water at the same time, then rush to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick appears first; the first to appear will win the match.
Traditionally the game is played on a particular bridge in Ashdown Forrest in Upper Hatfield East Sussex. But for the practice sessions pretty much any bridge over a slow running river will do. One of the main points to remember is to drop the stick on the upstream side of the bridge, any other strategy is doomed to failure.
Here we have a video of the actual competition from 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcs-GSiYog8
As with many of these competitions there is a championship homepage: http://www.pooh-sticks.com/.
Due to the bad weather at the beginning of this year, the 30th anniversary had to be postponed until October, but the organisers have worked hard to put everything in place for a full and safe event.
The first event was held in 1984, organised by former Lock Keeper Lynn David to raise funds for the RNLI.
“It costs around £385,000 a day to run the RNLI, all of which is generously donated by the public. This might sound like a lot, but we think the 22 people rescued a day (on average) are worth it.”
Sorry, soap box moment there.
Pooh Sticks was voted Britain’s favourite Quirky Event by the readers of Country File, which probably reflects the gentle nature of the event.
Luckily this is another sporting event that doesn’t require a great deal of training or preparation. The world championships use different coloured stick in order to tell the competitors apart, which is probably the most effective way of handling the competition.
So there we have it; Pooh Sticks! Nowhere near as disgusting as it sounds, but a favoured past time for those who participate.