Norfolk clubs welcome back players as sports return

North Elmham Tennis Club welcomed back players. 

North Elmham Tennis Club welcomed back players. - Credit: James Buddell

With lockdown restrictions easing on March 29 it was time for people in Fakenham to put their boots back on, dig the tennis racket out and get their gum shield ready as sports clubs returned.

With non-elite and grassroots football gearing up for its return it was time for Fakenham FC to prepare for a busy summer.

The Ghosts are preparing to compete in the Norfolk senior cup, as well as keeping the Wembley dream alive with their FA Vase campaign. First team manager, Andy Cunningham said they had 35 players return to training on Tuesday night, with a great atmosphere.

First team manager of Fakenham Football Club, Andy Cunningham

First team manager of Fakenham Football Club, Andy Cunningham - Credit: Alan Raymond Palmer

He said the return of football is great for everyone.

"While we had football in between lockdowns it has been helpful as a release from everything,” he said.

“It was more about the welfare of the players this time around, as everyone has had something going on over the last three months. Supporting them from a distance has been difficult, being able to check in with them all face to face last night was great for everyone.”

The team returns to action on April 3 with a friendly against Dersingham, and another two matches in the space of a week.

Players returned to training at Fakenham Rugby Club. 

Players returned to training at Fakenham Rugby Club. - Credit: Rob Ward

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It was also the return of Fakenham Rugby club, as they prepare for a new season in September.

Director of Rugby, Rob Ward said 28 people arrived for training, more than they expected.

He said the atmosphere was "very friendly and jovial", and he was delighted to see the players returning and has filled him with "hope" for the future of the club as they aim to field two teams on a regular basis.

Players returned to training at Fakenham Rugby Club. 

Players returned to training at Fakenham Rugby Club. - Credit: Rob Ward

North Elmham Tennis Club also welcomed people back onto the court.

James Buddell, chairman of the club, said court space has been at a "premium" since it reopened. With junior coaching starting again and the great weather, many parents took up the opportunity to get their children involved with their free membership offer for under 12s.

The club also organised a three-hour disability awareness session for The Bright Ideas for Charity initiative, I Play 30, run by former Davis Cup players Danny Sapsford and Mark Bullock.

This offers free tennis activity sessions designed for adults and children with learning, sensory and physical disabilities and for those experiencing mental ill-health.

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