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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Czech team takes Pooh-sticks gold
Last year's event
The championships attract competitors from across the world
A team from the Czech Republic has scooped gold at the 21st annual world championship Pooh-sticks race.

Hundreds of people turned out to see the event, inspired by A.A. Milne's tale about Winnie the Pooh.

Susan Young, 55, from Didcot, Oxfordshire, won the individual event gold medal, followed by 14-month-old Mimi Morley-Iszatt, from Oxford.

The race involves dropping a stick into the river and seeing how long it takes to get to the finish line.

Some visitors express surprise that the reserved English are enjoying themselves like that
Organiser David Caswell
Pooh enthusiasts from across the globe descended on Days Lock in Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire, on Sunday.

A team from Latin America won the silver medal in the event, which is organised by the Rotary Club of Sinodun.

Organiser David Caswell told BBC News Online: "The interest in Pooh is worldwide while local people are attracted by a fun day out for the family that embraces all age groups.

"It's a fairly relaxed atmosphere. It's not super-competitive but some people take it very seriously.

Charity fundraising

"Some visitors express surprise that the reserved English are enjoying themselves like that."

The event has been held in Oxfordshire ever since a local lock-keeper noticed people were picking sticks off a hedge and playing the traditional game.

He began charging them in order to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

Funds raised are now split between the RNLI and the rotary club's charitable projects.

The original Pooh-sticks bridge where Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin played in the books is in Ashdown Forest, a mile from Hartfield in East Sussex.


SEE ALSO:
New 'pooh-sticks' World Champion
16 Mar 03  |  England


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