Greater Manchester reacts to MPs set to receive more than £1000 in pay rise

LOCALS from Salford and Greater Manchester have voiced their opinion on recent figures predicting over a £1000 pay rise for members of parliament in 2017.

The figures, produced by the Office for National Statistics, state MPs could receive a 1.4% increase on this year’s salary next year to reach £76,011.

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This 1.4% increase is much more than the 1% pay rise cap placed on public sector workers in 2012.

The increase in pay comes after MPs received a large hike in salary just two years ago, jumping from £67,000 per year to £74,000: a 10% rise.

Office for National Statistics’ prediction has caused anger amongst some- many believe members of parliament should also bore the brunt of ongoing austerity from the Conservative government.

Users took to social media to express their concerns:

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Duncan Corns, 46, from Eccles, believes members of parliament are not paid enough.

He said: “I would like to see MPs receive a pay rise. I want to see a higher grade of candidate standing for election, one who doesn’t necessarily have inherited wealth behind them but inspires to earn a comfortable living while being a public servant.

“I expect my parliamentary representative to earn a comparative wage to a top surgeon or the MD of an FTSE 350 company. But I would expect their increase in income to substantially reduce the amount of expenses they could claim.”

Other Facebook users were frustrated with the rise in pay after a period of intense austerity from the Conservative government, and the pay system for public sector workers as a whole:

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Under a system designed to take the issue out of political control, MPs’ salaries rise in line with the Office for National Statistics’ calculation of average overall increases in the public sector.

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But it is the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) that will set the MP’s salary in February next year.

In a statement, an IPSA spokesperson said:

“In July 2015, IPSA’s announcement about MPs pay linked any future pay adjustments to the average public sector pay change. The provisional ONS figures published this week are subject to revision and the actual pay change will be confirmed in February 2017.”

David Nuttall, MP for Bury North, will be one of the MPs receiving the pay rise in 2017. He told Quays News:

“The process is that MP’s pay is determined independently by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Committee.

“All I would say is that as I have no involvement in the process I do not concern myself with it. What ever they decide is what I get. I concentrate on representing my constituency.”

This article was written for Quays News.

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Manchester Mayoral bidder claims to be only ‘pro-European’ candidate in race

The Liberal Democrat candidate for next years Manchester mayoral elections has outlined her policies to Quays News, claiming she is the only ‘pro-European’ competitor in the race next year.

Trafford councillor Jane Brophy believes that the European Union “underpins” plenty of Manchester’s infrastructure, adding that services such as the city’s metrolink are a result of the United Kingdom’s membership of the union.

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Mrs Brophy told Quays News: “As a Liberal Democrat, I am the only proudly pro-European candidate. I would like the people of Greater Manchester to have a say on the terms we will have in a deal to leave the EU.”

Councillor Brophy added that Wigan biscuit-maker Rivington‘s closure last week was partly as a result of the sharp drop in the pound against the Euro– an aftereffect of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

She said: “It is always disappointing when small businesses like Rivington close down. It resonates with other small business owners from Greater Manchester I’ve spoken to who are absolutely concerned about Brexit.

“Brexit is having a detrimental impact on our small and our large businesses in Greater Manchester.”

Mrs Brophy continued: “Everything we have in this city is underpinned by the EU- our infrastructure, our transport systems such as the metrolink is funded by the EU.

Labour candidate Andy Burnham is the heavy favourite to win the mayoral elections in May, and has recently came out in argument that a hard Brexit could actually favour the north of England.

For Councillor Brophy therefore, the candidate will have to set out a clear alternative to win dissident Labour voters from Burnham.

Cllr Brophy added: “Many of our jobs are also dependant on trade as a result of our trade deals with the EU, and our environmental legislation, our housing, everything depends on our relationship with the EU.

“People did not vote for a hard Brexit and I would be able to appeal to those who did vote leave. Some leave voters voted on pledges such as £350 million a week would go to the NHS as a result of a leave vote but I cannot see that happening.

“I would appeal to people who voted leave, they want to see what the deal is going to be. I would like those people to have a chance to have a say.”

Seamus Martin, co-ordinator of the Vote Leave campaign for Salford and Eccles this year, argued Mrs Brophy’s is “not going to have any effect” on Britain’s course to leave the European Union.

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Seamus Martin said: “It’s just think it’s sheer opportunism on the part of the Liberal Democrats on some undecided minds on what to do after the Brexit result. It’s silly to think the Mayor of Greater Manchester will have an effect on the terms of the deal.”

With the Manchester mayor elections set to take place in May next year, candidates will have to separate themselves from the crowd to win minds. But with 7 out of 10 Greater Manchester boroughs voting to leave the EU in June, it looks like Councillor Brophy will have to have a strong campaign to be a potential winner.

This article was written for Quays News.

Tina Rothery’s campaign is symbolic of Lancashire’s never-say-die attitude against fracking

Just five days ago Tina Rothery was facing the prospect of spending Christmas this year in a cell at Styal Prison.

Now, after her hearing, Ms Rothery has spoken to Quays News on how she felt leading up to the decision, her jubilation afterward, and how worldwide support for her campaign can lead to positive change for her anti-fracking community.

Tina Rothery, 54, has been involved in the anti-fracking campaign for five years.

Her passion for her cause was demonstrated in 2014 when she and other protestors occupied a plot of land in Lancashire planned for exploration for fracking by British oil and gas firm Cuadrilla.

The protestors, later calling themselves ‘The Nanas’ because of their dominant population of elderly women, began the protest on August 7 and occupied the land for three weeks.

Two months later Cuadrilla submitted an order to prevent protestors from gathering on the land. The oil and gas firm claimed an overly amount of stress was caused to the landowners nearby.

Tina volunteered herself as a representative of the group—known as ‘Residents Action on Fylde Fracking’ at the time—and sought an adjournment to the order, but in submitting a defence she did not reveal her financial details.

Ms Rothery was subsequently charged with contempt of court. She was ordered to pay for Cuadrilla’s legal costs of £55,342, or she could face a 14-day prison sentence.

The mother-and-grandmother said: “I worried was the night before the trial when I had gone to bed and realised that maybe tomorrow night I could be somewhere that isn’t my bed- somewhere very scary and very alien.

“I was upset a little bit the night before because anything you do not know is scary. I hated the thought of being trapped and I hated the thought of not having my freedom.”

The 54-year-old’s fate was uncertain until a private hearing on Friday December 9 at Preston Combined Court.

Ms Rothery, representing herself in the hearing, was elated when the British oil and gas firm decided not to pursue costs, and contempt of court charge was thrown out.

Around 500 people joined Tina in marching with her to the court building, and were overjoyed when the decision was made. Ms Rothery was mobbed with champagne and celebrations after the decision was made.

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Ms Rothery was a subject of high attention from the national media on Friday. Credit: Peter Yankowski

Ms Rothery said: “It was such a relief to know that we are all going to have a good Christmas. There was nothing I could do to replace that.”

“Being able to see things like nativity plays and Christmas markets, and having some of my older supporters in the fracking community knowing I was safe is completely comforting for me.”

Ms Rothery noted Cuadrilla had “foolishly shown their hand taking a grandmother” into court, and said the potential bad publicity toward the company could have caused them to drop all pursuit of costs.

Yet Ms Rothery’s turbulent history with fracking has been typical of British campaigners who are trying to stop shale gas drilling across their countryside.

Over 500 anti-fracking groups have been set up in the U.K. Not only this, but British public opinion is also against the prospect of fracking.

Why is fracking still being pushed on the public?

It is clear that recent events such as Ms Rothery’s legal case and the Conservative government overruling Lancashire County Council’s judgement of rejecting fracking in October showed a disconnection between the state and public.

Tina Rothery said Communities’ Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to overrule Lancashire County Council shows that conclusions made by elected councillors “do not make an ounce of difference”.

She explained: “It means that not only are the government are willing to shove fracking down our throats and take risks with our children’s health when we do not want it. It also means they are prepared to fracture democracy to make it happen.”

Tina also believes there is unfairness between communities campaigning for change going up against the extensive legal teams of oil and gas companies like Cuadrilla.

She said: “Companies like Cuadrilla can wield the legal system against us because they will always have more money, more time, and they will always have more lawyers. They can drag legal battles out and the community can’t afford to fight it.

Ms Rothery added that recent legal challenges such as that of Preston New Road should not have to crowd-source to build funds for their challenge: “Justice should not have price- justice should be free”.

The mother and grandmother’s belief that Cuadrilla dropped all costs due to fear of public backlash could show a significant shift in the public attitude towards the government and their plans for energy resources.

With over 2000 people from across the nation attending Manchester’s anti-fracking rally on November 12 this year, including speeches from Manchester mayoral candidate Andy Burnham and Bianca Jagger, the movement is clearly picking up steam:

Ms Rothery spoke at the event, and said: “People who came out to the march came with for the same reason: they wanted to protect something that was important to them.

She added: “Even when you look down at big crowds you see the same people down at the community meetings. It’s the same cause that has brought them out.”

Ms Rothery herself has been also the subject of support from celebrities ranging from actor Mark Ruffalo, actress Emma Thompson, and designer Vivienne Westwood in the social media campaign #IAmTina.

Emma Thompson teamed up with Tina earlier this year to raise awareness in combatting fracking.

Rothery with her supporters on Friday

The pair, amongst others, broke a court injunction to occupy a fracking site near Preston to film a ‘Frack Free Bake Off’ special episode.

Tina said: “Having Emma Thompson there as a friend gave me some real solidarity- but it helped that she had such a high profile to get the spread the word as well.

She added, laughing: “So now we have The Hulk and Nanny McPhee. You just know we are the good guys”.

What’s next for Tina, and the campaign against fracking as a whole?

Cuadrilla could begin drilling for shale gas by as early as April next year at its Preston New Road site.

With environmental campaigners launching a legal challenge against the drilling proposals, the near future debate over the use of fracking looks to be fierce.

The Conservatives are confident that fracking will be successful however. Sajid Javid believes fracking will bring in 75,000 jobs and £3bn in investment.

Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan has also claimed that the U.K.’s gas supply could power the nation for 40-50 years.

Yet prominent campaigners such as Tina will continue to campaign, knowing that the British government’s decision on fracking will shape the worldwide perspective on the controversial energy source.

“Almost every country around the world is watching what the U.K. will do with fracking. South Africa are waiting for our next decision on what we’ll do before they move forward with it.

“If we stop the process, it will set a beautiful precedent that people can rest their hat on.”

“What I do know is we will continue to run all around the country trying to speak to every person we can,” she said, smiling, “I’m feeling very optimistic for 2017”.

Just five days after her court hearing, Tina Louise Rothery is already looking for how she can promote her cause further. With the waves of public support rising across the nation and now the world, her fight against fracking may be taken to greater heights.

This article was written for Quays News.

 

Fire services called to scrapyard blaze involving 50 cars

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue have been dealing with a large fire at a Salford scrapyard this evening.

Salford, Broughton, and Eccles fire crews were called to Langley Road, Lower Kersal, at 4:44pm.

Around 50 cars were alight behind Salford Car Breakers Ltd, near the bank of the river Irwell.

Emergency services including police, ambulance, and the fire department began to tackle the fire at around 6:30pm, using jets and a hydraulic platform to extinguish the flames.

Study shows last year’s flooding was ‘most extreme on record’ in UK

A recent study into last winter’s devastating floods has shown that the rainfall ranks alongside the most in the last century, and caused the highest amount of flooding to Salford in 70 years.

The study has found that from November 2015 to January 2016 was the wettest three-month period on record dating back to 1910.

After ‘Storm Eva’ brought a month’s worth of rain to the city on Boxing Day, the nearby River Irwell in Salford smashed its highest ever river levels by half a metre.

Greater Manchester was one of the worst affected areas of flooding in the UK, with the Fire and Rescue Service receiving more than 300 flood-related calls.

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The heavy rain during late December last year also left thousands of homes without power, with over 20,000 losing power in Rochdale.

The study said: “The flooding attracted much public, media, and political attention, and speculation relating to the effectiveness of flood management strategies.

“The possibility that similar flood episodes may occur in the future underpins the need for more detailed studies to provide resilient flood management strategies.”

Salford City Council were criticised for the failure of recently-built flood defences along the River Irwell, after investing in a 2.2 mile stretch of boulder defences towards the end of 2013, and a £12m project to convert the land north of Castle Irwell Student Village which is close to completion.

But this recent study may give reason as to why Salford suffered the worst flooding damage in 70 years.

“If the rainfall is so extreme then there is always the chance that the best defences are overwhelmed”

Councillor Derek Antrobus, lead member for planning at Salford City Council, said: “The study did not come as a surprise to us, given the scale of the events that we experience last year, I expected that the amount of rainfall would have been unprecedented.

“Certainly the flows on the River Irwell were way beyond we’ve ever experienced before. What we’ve got to do is make sure that people prepare for that eventuality”.

“Everyone has got to work together. There is a community responsibility here to put provisions in place against flooding as well, and the council is offering every support that we can.”

In Cumbria and Lancashire alone last December, 57 severe flood warnings were issued and record peak flows were recorded in many rivers across northern England.

December rainfall totals (mm) for North West England. 2015's rainfall is the clear highest since records began

Alexandra Lynch was working for ‘Pit Stop’ food van who fed hundreds of volunteers last year during the clean-up free of charge.

She said: “Seeing the expressions on the faces of people who had their homes flooded made me so upset.

“On Boxing Day we saw people having to throw Christmas trees, presents and decorations in the road because they were just ruined by the floods. Christmas isn’t even over yet and people’s homes have been gutted out by the floods.”

“My boyfriend’s grandma lived on a ground floor flat, and she lost everything because of the floods. She was sat in the street eating her dinner which was donated to her, crying, because she’s had no help.”

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Ms Lynch’s view has been echoed by many around the city. With Castle Irwell’s flood basin being completed “at any time in the next few days” according to Cllr Antrobus, many will be hoping the continued building of flood defences will protect the city.

Against storms like last December’s battering of Storm Eva, however, studies by the CEH argue the case that some forces of nature cannot be stopped.

This article was written for Quays News.

“Get on the floor or I’ll shoot you” WATCH the moment as armed thug carries out raid on Bredbury off license

GREATER Manchester Police have released a video of one of several armed robberies carried out by two Manchester men who have been jailed for 10 years.

The CCTV footage depicts Michael Harkins, 37, of Marple Court in Stockport, entering Bargain Booze on Bents Lane, Bredbury, in July last year.

Harkins is seen pointing a silver handgun at the cashier, shouting: “get on the floor or I’ll shoot you”.

With the cashier cowering on the shop floor and screaming in terror, Harkins stole £1800, and the cashier’s handbag containing £105 before leaving.

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Ashley Peter Wright, 34, of Haymans Walk, then joined Harkins and the pair committed two more robberies on the same day on Sunday 19 July.

The two men carried out armed robberies at four stores during an eight-day crime spree last year. GMP said the two men subjected victims to “significant emotional and physical harm” including tying victims up and assaulting one shopkeeper.

During almost all of their robberies, Harkins would enter first to pose as a customer and note how many people were present. Moments later the two thugs would return brandishing items including a handgun and a meat cleaver.

Harkins and Wright were arrested after a police chase in New Mills on July 21 last year, and were both sentenced to 10 years in prison

Detective Inspector Gina Brennand, from GMP’s public protection department, said: “Harkin and Wright were ruthless, robbing four shops in eight days and subjecting five victims to terrifying ordeals in the process.

“They caused significant emotional and physical harm, all for the sake of a few hundred pounds, and are fully deserving of the jail sentence they received today.”

This article was written for Quays News.

Manchester museum combats species extinction in exhibition

MANCHESTER Museum unveiled their latest exhibition ‘Extinction or Survival?’ this week, highlighting the damaging impact of human activity on the environment worldwide.

The exhibition, which took a year to create, hosts species that have been negatively affected by human life, and are becoming (or have already become) extinct.

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The diverse display showcases extinct animals and plants from areas including North America, Asia, and central Europe. Species such as the Great Auk and the Tasmanian Tiger are included.

With 99% of endangered animals being threatened due to human causes, the museum has additionally spotlighted species that have been wiped out in the United Kingdom.

And, with 40% of the world’s wildlife currently threatened by extinction, the museum believes the exhibit will invoke locals to do more about threatened British wildlife.

Manchester museum is also working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Forest Stewardship Council to present ways in which people can make a positive difference for nature.

Co-curator for the exhibition, Dmitri Logunov, said: “Our original idea was an evolution-based display. But we stayed on a similar theme and wanted to show the evolution of human activity having an impact on our environment.

“We can take a look at the passenger pigeon for instance. There were up to 3 billion of them at one point, and toward the late 19th century they were killed on a massive scale.

“There was no reason- they were not used as food or fertilizer, killing for what people call ‘sport’. I struggle to think about how people can even do this to these creatures as a sport.”

Curators of the event have also displayed illegal items seized by UK border agents.

Authorities have seized crocodile-skin handbags, ivory statues, and scorpion-infused vodka on display at the museum.

Mr Logunov added there needs to be a collective effort made against the international black market trade to prevent items such as ivory statues driving animals to extinction.

He noted: “We cannot blame people selling these illegal items for being poor. As a country we cannot dictate how other countries crack down on illegal trade.

“It needs to be a joint international effort, because basically we are talking about survival of us, as part of nature. If we disconnect ourselves from nature then our survival is doomed.”

Evolutionary biologist and broadcaster Dr Ben Garrod opened the exhibit on October 20. Dr Garrod has presented television shows including Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur with David Attenborough at the BBC in his career.

Dr Garrod, a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, emphasised that the British section of the exhibition can raise efforts from UK residents to help their local environment.

He said: “We are at a turning point in our history- around 100 years ago we did not have anywhere near the awareness about the environment that we have now.

“So we can look at it positively and say that we know what we’re doing. We know how we can help these animals and prevent extinction.

“So this part of this exhibition is to make a point to the public that we can do something about it.”

Dr Garrod stated that locals in city environments such as Manchester could also help prevent extinction. He said: “I’m not expecting you to go out and do pioneering research on the environment.

“Just help save the wildlife on your doorstep by planting flowers, taking part in river clean-ups, and not grooming your garden so much that it destroys habitats.”

The exhibit will run until April 20 2017 and is free for all visitors.

This article was written for Quays News.

Salford Quays supermarket and Manchester homeless shelter team up to fight hunger this winter

A LOCAL homeless shelter and a Christian welfare charity have partnered with MediaCityUK’s Booths supermarket to provide a food bank for the store.

Caritas, a Roman Catholic social wellbeing charity based in Manchester, is teaming-up with homeless support facility Cornerstone to allow the public to donate any unwanted food to Booths for those in need.

The food bank project will be supported by the Booths store, who will give any safe food that would be otherwise be wasted – to the homeless at Cornerstone.

Colin Porter, customer experience development manager at the Booths MediaCityUK store, said: “As a business trying to do the right thing for the community fits into our culture. We were looking for local community groups that we could help out and one of the workers at the store suggested Cornerstone,IMG_8033

“We made contact with them, had a couple of meetings about what we can do, and how we can support them, because it’s more about them than it is about us.”

The launch of the food bank in the store on October 12, is the Quays supermarket’s first partnership with any charity since their opening in 2014.booths

Mr Porter added: “It’s very early days but we’re strongly driven to try to employ a homeless person as part of the project. We want to offer these people some kind of work experience, so we can give them something on their CV which currently they probably don’t have,

“What we do as a business is we like to think we do the right thing. I think morally we have an obligation where we need to help people – sometimes I think if we all did a little bit more then it would make a massive difference.”

Homeless shelter Cornerstone has been operating for 25 years, and their partnership with Booths is the latest in a list that includes partnerships with Costco, Greggs, FareShare, and Nandos.

Lawrence Bettany, director of the Cornerstone project, said: “Booths approached us with some perfectly fine food that they were going to throw out- and that’s how the relationship grew, to the point where we agreed to have a food bank put in store,

“It is essential for the business sector to be working alongside the voluntary sector and the shared resource, and what we can do with that.”

Mr Bettany noted: “There is so much more that could be done – food is no longer an issue for us anymore – we get a lot of food and that’s brilliant but we would love to have relationships with companies that provide other resources like IT training and employability training to the homeless.”

The partnership between the charities and Booths comes at a time when food banks are becoming increasingly necessary.

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The Cornerstone centre is a homeless centre that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It has been providing services to vulnerable adults and people experiencing rough sleeping through Manchester in that time.

The shelter anywhere up to 200 people using it every day. It’s an open access facility including hot meals, showers, launderette, IT support, and a barbers.

The homeless facility also holds English, Maths, and alcoholics anonymous classes.

 This article was written for Quays News.

WATCH: Runners tackle giant inflatable obstacle course at Manchester’s Heaton Park

FUNDRAISERS showed their ‘Gung-ho‘ spirit by taking part in a five-kilometre giant inflatable obstacle course at Manchester’s Heaton Park.

Braving difficult weather conditions, 5000 contestants completed the course to raise money for charities, including Manchester Children’s Hospital and the Christie Charity.

Up to another 10,000 spectators attended the course that held 10 giant inflatable obstacles, including the world’s largest ‘bouncy’ inflatable: nicknamed ‘The Moon’.

The event marked the first of 12 cities visited by Gung-Ho! this year, which will be touring places such as Southampton, Newcastle, and Liverpool throughout the summer.

The fundraiser also secured the BBC’s Children in Need as their national charity partner, making Gung-Ho! the first ever mud run and obstacle course to partner with the esteemed charity organisation.

Figurehead of Gung-Ho! and CBeebies presenter Alex Winters created the adventure company and toured around three cities in the UK last year – a figure he will quadruple in 2016.

Mr Winters said: “When we had our three events last year, we saw the response and thought they worked well enough to do more.

“We were open to creating more events and it quickly developed into Nottingham being the 12th city. We’re still learning, but we thought ‘lets just get out there, let’s do it”.

Mr Winters added that he was delighted to see so the number many families were taking part and how many were enjoying it.

“That was absolutely perfect for me. If you look around you can see all ages taking part, and it’s great to have so many families getting involved and having fun.”

When asked about the future of the fundraising event, Mr Winters joked: “Ask me in October when we’re finished for this year!

“How many events can we do? I don’t know.

“We’ve got new ideas for themed events and different obstacles- I won’t say too much but we’ve got big plans.”

This article was written for Quays News.

From Globogym to Global: the 2016 Dodgeball World Cup in Manchester

IF you were to ask the average person about Dodgeball, their first response may have referred to a spandex-clad Ben Stiller contesting an Average-Joe Vince Vaughn for $50,000 in Las Vegas.

Looking past the 2004 Rawson Marshall Thurber film ‘DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story’, the sport has sky-rocketed in popularity – so much so that the first Dodgeball World Cup was held last weekend in Manchester.

Despite some calls for it to be banned from primary schools for safety reasons in the United States, the budding sport has continued to spread, and has attracted several more nations across the globe.

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So what is it that makes dodgeball so lucrative? The sport is fast-paced, requires a great amount of teamwork and is very tactical when observed closely.

One Wales supporter said: “Unless people come and watch it live then they would not realise the speed of the balls and how much agility these players have.

“The game is very tactical as well. I think with enough money behind it then it could be big. It’s growing all the time.”

Across the globe, dodgeball has expanded at the grass-roots level throughout universities, high schools, and primary school teams. In the United Kingdom, there are 750,000 active players: it is even bigger in the US, with 9.7 million players.

The rapid expansion of the game has culminated in the World Dodgeball Association creating the first ever Dodgeball World Cup.

Tom Hickson, President of the World Dodgeball Association, said: “I think a World Cup in Dodgeball puts the game on the map. It raises the profile of the sport massively, especially at a grass-roots level.

“There will be people across the world who will think, ‘I want to be at the world cup and I want to represent my country playing dodgeball’. And it really resembles quite nicely what we do at the World Dodgeball Association.”

The start of the Dodgeball World Cup

On Saturday, April 16, fans filed into the 1000-seated capacity National Basketball Arena, Manchester, to commence the opening of the tournament.

Countries including Australia, Austria, Egypt, Italy, Malaysia, and the United States of America all fielded teams to compete in the mens’ and women’s tournaments.

All nations from the United Kingdom entered teams, with England mens’ team as strong favourites for the tournament after winning the European Dodgeball Championship for the fourth year in a row in Belfast in August 2015.

As expected, England fans were loud and proud in backing their team to win the tournament:

With 50 games played over the weekend, the tournament showcased intense action to those watching across the world on YouTube, which hosted over 40,000 total views on Saturday’s play.

The weekend’s matches climaxed in the finals with the ladies Australian ‘Dodgeroos’ stifling a late Austrian Women comeback to win 7-6 and take home the new Dodgeball World Cup in the women’s category.

The heavily-favourited England Lions played the Malaysian national team in the men’s fixtures. The Malaysian team, despite having never competed in an international dodgeball tournament before, defied all odds to reach the final.

The fairytale story was cut short, when Malaysia fell to England by 14-3: crowning the England Lions as the first winners of the Dodgeball World Cup 2016, and cemented England’s place at the top of the dodgeball world.

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England Lions coach John Rudland told 24.7 sports: “I think the boys have been amazing. We’ve had a game plan from day one, and they’ve delivered exactly what we’ve asked.

“I couldn’t be prouder right now.”

The introduction of a World Cup was a major step forward of the relatively unknown sport that is dodgeball. The sport is propelling to even grander stages, as plans were recently announced for a 2018 Dodgeball World Cup to be held in New York. It could be that there is more to dodgeball than just spandex and rubber balls after all.

This article was written for Quays News.