Norwich teenagers launch new dodgeball club

Dodgeball swept the nation after the release of the hit American film starring Ben Stiller – and now Norwich youngsters are being urged to take up the sport.

Henry Skinner and Olly Barber have launched Norfolk Dodgeball Academy in Drayton.

The two teenagers both play for Norfolk's only competitive dodgeball team, Reepham Raiders, and want to get more people involved in the game.

Dodgeball has been played in America and Canada for years but was thrown into global consciousness with the release of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

The film, which came out in 2004, focuses on the rivalry between the owners of Average Joe's, a small gym, and Globo-Gym, a competing big-budget gym.

Vince Vaughn's character Peter LaFleur, owner of the smaller gym, enters a dodgeball tournament in a bid to win enough money to stop his gym from being purchased by Globo-Gym. But Stiller's character White Goodman throws a spanner in the works and also enters a team in the tournament.

The drama unfolds as both teams try to dodge, dip, duck and dive their way to victory.

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City of Norwich School sixth form student Henry, 17, who lives in Hellesdon, said: 'It's such a fun and intense sport; it's so fast and exciting.

'I've been playing for more than a year now and I want to pass my experience on to others. By running this academy, it's a good way to get youngsters involved.'

Dodgeball is played by two teams of six and the aim of the game is to get the other team out by hitting them with the ball. Whichever team is left with the highest number of players wins.

Norfolk Dodgeball Academy is currently open to youngsters aged under 16 but it is hoped to open it up to all ages.

Tom Dade, 14, from Hellesdon, who attended the first training session on Saturday, said: 'I play dodgeball at school and I like it a lot. It's fun and there's nothing I don't like about it.'

Henry and Olly will be running Norfolk Dodgeball Academy at the Bob Carter Centre in School Road, Drayton, every Saturday morning from 10am.

The session lasts two hours and the first session is free.

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Are you launching an innovative project in Norwich? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email