The Great Easter Olympics

Find out about the egg-cellent sports that happened around Easter

George Bell
17th April 2022
Image: Twitter - @OOSNSW
Call me shell-fish but I'm not one to be invested in sports. It just never really appealed to me. But after egg-stensive research over the past few days, I might be a convert. No, I'm not even yolking.

Okay, I’ll tone down the egg jokes. Maybe.

You might be well versed in Easter and all it has to offer: the birth of Jesus, hot cross buns, eating enough chocolate to go into a week-long coma. But are you aware of the eclectic mix of weird and wonderful sports that also take place around Easter? If no, fear not, for a lesson is at hand. If yes, still keep reading, please?

So here are some of the wackiest Easter sports that I wholeheartedly recommend trying out yourself:

Uppies and Downies

Imagine football, but Game of Thrones football. That is kind of what Uppies and Downies is like. Taking place on Good Friday in Workington, Cumbria for hundreds of years this sport involves splitting teams based on where they live, with the aim of getting a ball into an opponents’ goal. Sounds just like football right? That is until you take into account the pitch: it incorporates a huge proportion of the town centre. Involving hundreds of players and taking several hours, Uppies and Downies is not for the faint of heart (my condolences to most football players).

Numerous safety warnings have been given by police about the sport with it having a history of deaths and serious injuries.

But while the smart thing for this dangerous sport is to stop it or keep it where it is, I propose the exact opposite. Bring it to Newcastle. Hordes of Geordies targeting every Greggs in the city centre sounds admittedly quite dangerous, but a lot of fun

The World Egg Jarping Championships

However, not everyone is into team sports, myself included. Enter The World Egg Jarping Championships. Yes, it is as epic as it sounds. This contest of champions takes place every Easter in the Hearts of Oak pub in Peterlee. Contestants each select their weapon of choice, a boiled egg, and mercilessly bash them together until one of them cracks. It’s basically conkers with eggs. There are serious anti-doping rules in place to ensure a fair and equal beating of one's eggs. Cheating has included such nefarious deeds as dipping the eggs in bear, painting them with nail varnish or holding them against the radiator. It’s an intense sport filled with blood, tears and eggshells. 

The World Marbles Championship

Bored of eggs yet? I certainly am, you could say I'm losing my marbles over them. That oh-so-subtle segway leads me to the epic World Marbles Championship; held each Good Friday in Tinsley Green, West Sussex for hundreds of years. Squid Games fans need not worry, losing here won’t result in your death, but maybe a fate much worse…having to buy the next round.

The Marbles Championships have had a lot of celebrity contestants from a couple of small-time comedians Laurel and Hardy and acting master Lofty from Eastenders.

Enough on marbles, back to eggs. There are oh so many more egg-based sports to test your mettle at.

The World Egg Throwing Federation

While not exclusive to Easter, this is where real egg sportsmen and women are made, or boiled. The concept behind egg throwing is a simple one: a group of people taking turns throwing eggs but attempting not to break them. But since it has grown into something much greater and more epic, an entire federation. This worldwide federation promotes the beautiful sport of egg-throwing as well as several variations like throw and catch, static relay, and egg trebuchet. I, for one, cannot contain my excitement and will be applying for membership as soon as possible.

The Egg and Spoon Race

Last but certainly not least is the staple of most school sports days. A crucible of rage and intensity, the egg and spoon race was the testament to all that is cool. Want to be praised by all your peers? Win the egg and spoon race. A throwback to easier times with a spoon to hand would solve many of the problems of the world...

Be them boiled, raw, poached, or fried, there are so many uses of the humble egg beyond eating that are sure to be a blast to try out. Or maybe eat them, that works too.

The only question to ask now is, why aren’t any of these in the Olympics? 

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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