Obscure sport of the week – Cheese Rolling

18 08 2009
Cheese Rolling Contestant

Cheese Rolling Contestant

This week’s obscure sport comes from the Cotswold region of England, and although not really considered as a sport, this event, that was founded over 200 years ago, has become famous all over the world.

It consists of rolling a large cheese down a hill and all the contestants chasing after it to get to the finishing line first. The first person to the end wins the cheese. The cheese can also be caught on the way down, but this can be difficult as it has a one second head start, and can reach speeds of up to 112km/h!

There are many different opinions on the origins of this strange sport, but most people believe that it could date back to Roman times or have been a pagan healing ritual. However there is no real evidence to support these claims. Every year the event becomes more popular around the world with many contestants coming to participate or watch from overseas.

The cheese used is a Double Gloucester, a hard cheese that is made in cylinders. The current supplier of the cheese has supplied it since 1988. During the Second World War, when rationing was introduced, and the use of cheese was disallowed, a hollow wooden replica was used, with a piece of cheese inside.

Unfortunately due to the uneven nature of the hills used in cheese rolling, there are usually a number of injuries. These could range from broken bones to concussions. The event has been described as “twenty young men chase a cheese off a cliff and tumble 200 yards to the bottom, where they are scraped up by paramedics and packed off to hospital.” However it is loved by the locals and is a part of the culture of the area, as well as attracting adrenaline lovers from around the world.

The next race takes place on Monday 31st of May 2010 at 12:00 midday.  Anyone who arrives at the top of the hill before the race can take part.  Just make sure your ‘last will’ is up to date first!

By Connor

References:

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/return-to-edam-20081113-64eo.html?page=1

http://www.cheese-rolling.co.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper’s_Hill_Cheese-Rolling_and_Wake

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8 responses

19 08 2009
Mr Hoffman

Hey Connor, loved the piece on Cheese Rolling. Could you do a story on Bog Snorkling – I think it is a Welsh “obscure sport”.

20 08 2009
mikejisrael

Great work Year 9 NBCS. I wonder what the equivalent sport to chesse rolling is in Australia?

20 08 2009
Cristy Vogel

Haha! Cheese Rolling?! What a funny article! You guys have a good sense of humor. Good luck with your news service!

Cristy Vogel
French Teacher
Columbia, South Carolina
USA

20 08 2009
Mr B

Might speak to Mr Dickson about getting this as a school sport for us 🙂

20 08 2009
ywarnier

I had a lot of fun watching the video (http://www.crackerjack.co.uk/gloucestershire/days-out/cheese-rolling-coopers-hill?tab=Video). Great piece of news!

20 08 2009
bloggineducation

Good choice of article, Death by Cheeseball!
Tim

20 08 2009
kathy

I found this very interesting – I had heard about it before – your report is well written and I now would really like to go and see it.

20 10 2009
outdoorchic

Love it! Need to see this in action to appreciate i’m thinking…

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