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Cornish companies battle it out at the 2012 Cornwall Beach Games

Red Hotels enjoying building their sandcastle at the 2012 Cornwall Beach Games

Last week 22 Cornish companies battled it out, all in the name of fun, at a unique barefoot sports event in Newquay.

The 2012 Cornwall Beach Games saw approximately 250 people come together to compete in a series of fun activities at Newquay's Tolcarne Beach on Friday 25 May.

Following the success of the first Cornwall Beach Games last year, the event was co-organised by the Cornwall Sports Partnership, the NHS Healthy Workplace Programme and Cornwall College, to give Cornish companies the chance to have some active fun outdoors with their fellow colleagues.

There was activity all day for the competitors, starting in the afternoon; with several rounds of beach games, including volleyball, football and handball. Teams then took to the water for a surf board paddle relay, before a final test of strength and stamina in the tug 'o' war event.

During a closing ceremony, all companies received a Beach games pennant to help remember the day and the top teams were presented with gold, silver or bronze awards; plus there was a separate award for the best sand sculpture. The celebrating teams were Harlands Accountants in third position, NHS Health Promotion Service with the National Trust in second place and HSBC as the overall winners. And, GE Money took the award for the best sandcastle.

Aside from winning though, the main objective for the day was to have fun and get involved in team building with work colleagues; everything was designed to encourage healthy participation.

Olympic torchbearer Mark Stevens also attended the event with his torch, adding some inspirational Olympic flavour to the day and offering a prime photo opportunity for participants.

From a participant's point of view, Lora Fleming, Director of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, enthused: "It was a wonderful event which brought lots of different people together; both within and between teams. It was a lot of fun and there was something for everyone (including the creative sand sculptures) and it really demonstrated the range of healthy workplace activities and benefits".

Terry Stanton, Development Manager at Volunteer Cornwall, added: "I really enjoyed myself, joining the Cornish Mutual Team. It was one of those occasions when everything clicked; location and tremendous weather, but most importantly a great bunch of people".

Mike Thomas, Director of The Cornwall Sports Partnership, explained: "This event provided workplaces with a range of informal sports and activities, on the beach and in the water. It was fun, at times it was tough, but all day all we saw was smiles. At the end there were tired and weary bodies but the teams and individuals took to the events and the activities with plenty of enthusiasm and enjoyment."

Rachel Faulkner, NHS Workplace Health Coordinator, commented: "It's fantastic to be able to offer such an exciting event and inject a bit of fun to the end of a working week. We hoped the Beach Games would give employees the chance to have some fun with their workmates, meet new people and get a bit more active; going by people's faces on the day, we 100% succeeded!"

Russell Lawrance, Director of Sport & Public Services, Head of A Levels for the College, remarked: "It really is fantastic to see the commitment and passion in which people throw themselves into this and there is genuine elation and disappointment on their faces when the results are announced!"

Due to the success of the event and the demand it attracted, the organisers are already putting steps in place to repeat a similar event next year. If you would be interested in taking part in 2013, contact Rachel Faulkner at the NHS Health Promotion Service on 01209 313419 / . If you can't wait a year, Rachel will also be able to tell you more about the 'Healthy Workplace Award' that your company could start to work towards now. 

For a snapshot of the day's events, you can see photos from the day on the Cornwall Sports Partnership's Facebook page: