Sunday, 13 July 2003

Dhaliwal Cup 2003

The Dhaliwal Cup is held annually on a weekend in July, organised by the Man from Del Monte by Bow at a point close to Long Bridge in Regent's Park. Premise is that there are plenty of people in his group with birthdays in July and in order to celebrate they gather as many people as they know to picnic in the park. Alongside the eating are the annual Games.

The games begin with a tournament of football made of teams of willing players from those congregated (any number of teams are allowed and the structure of the tournament depends on the number of people who want a game). This year there were four teams. They were drawn into two knockout games, the winners of each of these games played each other in the final. The winning team gets the famous Dhaliwal Cup which the event is named after. The spirit of Dhaliwal is to eat, drink and join in (but not too seriously).

All players got very hot, one goalkeeper was wearing flip flops. But eventually a winning team came through the heat and the finals and was awarded the prized Dhaliwal Cup.

So then the fun games begin. The first up was the old favourite tomato & spoon race (in order to enable all to participate several races were run and I suppose tomatos will last longer when dropped than hardboiled eggs, or maybe the man from Del Monte by Bow didn't have time to hardboil them before setting off, whatever). Rules: keep the tomato on the spoon without the aid of a thumb (last year's winner confessed to this cheat six months later and was stripped of his medal), run up the course around the pole and back again. A competetor's tomato cannot win the race if it is launched over the finish line without being on the spoon of the runner. Officially competetors should stop running if they need to place the tomato back on the spoon. All winners get a raffle ticket to automatically qualify for the prize giving raffle at the end of the games.

Next up was the infamous Blind Man's Fluff. This year blindfolds replaced the bin-bag-on-head (don't show the children) method. Two-people teams are called for - one is the eyes and the other has the blindfold on. The eyes guide the blindfolded partner up the course, round the pole and back again without touching them but by shouting directions. This game is not advised for entrants who don't know their left from their right. A fair amount of confusion is expected in this game - last year one particular contestant ran off at a tangent heading straight for a family picnic, the family's expressions got more and more concerned as the runner didn't seem to realise he had veered off the course and he couldn't hear anyone shouting at him to stop. The winners this year were brave souls who ran at full pelt despite being blindfolded. However there were injuries in this game - one incident of elbow in the eye on the start line. The elbower eventually came in first and the elbowed felt this was a tactic to scupper her attempts. However as the bruise became apparent across the picnic area the elbower obviously felt deeply guilty and forfeited all his winning raffle tickets (and yes we do know it wasn't deliberate). Last year's injury was a similar collisional event - ML and CR were well ahead of the pack only to turn round the pole and be confronted by having to run through all the trailing competetors at which point there was a terrible collision and split lip or bloody nose (can't quite remember the extent of the injury) occured which was evident for several days afterwards. As a team CR felt it was necessary to go again just to get back on the horse so to speak - and they got through without incident this time although in a rather nervy manner.

And to round the event off was a bout of Waterbomb Volleyball. Two teams 6-7 on each side, one waterbomb. The waterbomb is thrown by one side to a competetor on the other side, underarm only, not higher than 7ft, with the aim of it breaking. The catching side tries to catch the waterbomb without it breaking and throw it back across. And so on until the bomb explodes. Whichever side is wet loses. The man from Del Monte by Bow tried to give advice on catching the waterbomb (sort of allow your hands to scoop it out of the air as it goes towards the ground) but not everyone wanted to listen. Good game!

Great fun had by all. Looking forward to next year. The Dhaliwal Cup games are now closed for 2003.

No comments: