Just over a week until the Belper games return

Belper Games charity event
Belper Games charity event

The Belper Games are back for its fifth year next weekend and organisers say it is going to be bigger than ever.

Over three days the community will come together for fun, laughter and a few light-hearted games but all the while remembering a woman who fought her illness to the end

All the money raised will go to Penny’s Fund in memory of Penny Wheeler from Belper, who died in 2012.

Since then thousands of pounds has been raised for three charities, Ataxia UK, The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust, and Scleroderma and Raynauds UK,

There will be something for everyone and the three days of fun kicks off on Friday with two films; The Lion King and Grease.

A Belper games organiser said: “Penny’s Fund is a key fundraiser for these smaller charities and this makes the Games just that little bit more special.

“The team has been hard at work over the past months to bring Belper the biggest and best weekend.”

Saturday is the main event featuring the It’s a Knock Out style games will see 24 teams of ten battle it out for first place and bragging rights.

There will also be a myriad of market stalls, selling fashion, gifts, crafts,

There will be a chance to step back in time and take on the challenge of medieval archery, and of course there will be food stands, the real ale bar, fairground rides and a dog show.

The biggest difference is that this year there is no let up after the big party on Saturday night with headliners Dammit Jack and local legends R:ed and Wheatabix as Sunday will host a Total Wipeout style day and yet more music into the night with Britpop Legends Chris Helme and Rick Witter making appearances.

With funds of over £22,500 raised last year, the organisers really are aiming for the sky this time.

The Belper Games started out as a way to raise funds desperately needed for medication that was unavailable Penny who had scleroderma and pulmonary fibrosis.

Camping is available for the weekend as are advanced queue buster wristbands.

The Games, hosted by the Rugby Club, Derby Road, Belper will open on Friday between 6pm and 11pm and entry is free, on Saturday there will be events from 11am to 11pm, adults £5 u14s £1.50 and u5s free. On Sunday between 11am and 10pm it will be free entry with a games wristband or donation entry.

‘Penny was a survivor’

Penny had been diagnosed with two rare and complicated illnesses; Systemic Scleroderma and Pulmonary Fibrosis and was pretty much housebound due to the chronic fatigue and breathlessness assosciated with these conditions. Her health rapidly worsened throughout 2012 and she died ahead of the first Belper Games in 2012. In a tribute to Penny her family said: “She was not a victim, she was a survivor, a fighter and an inspiration.”