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Last Updated: Monday, 31 May, 2004, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Cheese-rolling gets back on track
The event
The event is believed to be more than 200 years old
Scores of daredevils hurtled down a steep hill during an annual cheese-rolling contest in Gloucestershire.

Some 20 men and women, including a streaker, pursued a 7lb Double Gloucester cheese in each of four races at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth.

Competitors came from all over the world and included one of Belgium's leading footballers, Leo Van der Elst.

Search and Rescue Assistance In Disasters (SARAID) said there had been five major injuries.

These included a broken ankle, concussion and a dislocated shoulder. A further 16 people were treated for minor injuries.

I think there were 2,000 to 3,000 people here
Richard Jefferies
Race organiser
A St John Ambulance spokesman said: "It's what we've come to expect. It's mainly cuts and bruises."

Organiser Richard Jeffries, said: "It went very well indeed. There were a couple of injuries in the first race and one man broke his ankle.

"I think there were 2,000 to 3,000 people here. We are pleased as it was cancelled last year."

Cheesy prize

One winner was a Gurkha who had come with a group to raise money for the Gurkha Benevolent Fund.

Safety concerns led to the event being called off last year after rescue volunteers Rapid UK, who remove competitors from the hill, were unable to assist the event after being called to an earthquake in Algeria.

This year SARAID provided the cover.

The race at Cooper's Hill, near Brockworth, has been held for the last 200 years and is believed to date back to Roman times.

All of the cheeses thrown down the hill are made by Diana Smart on her farm at Birdwood in the Forest of Dean.

The winner of each race gets to keep the Double Gloucester.




SEE ALSO:
Cheese rolling cancelled
25 May 03  |  Gloucestershire


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