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British Village Hosts Annual Cheese Rolling Championship | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A team roll a wooden ‘cheese’ during the Stilton Village Festival cheese rolling competition on May 5, 2014 in Stilton, England. Jordan Mansfield/Getty images.

London- Stilton village in Britain, which has given its name to the variety of English cheese, has held its annual cheese rolling competition, with men’s and women’s teams competing in a knockout competition for bragging rights and a rather grand title.

Cheese-handling skills are not normally a prerequisite for success in sporting competition, but to win, the English village of Stilton’s most coveted prize, they are essential.

Jo, a member of Anna’s Girls, the team that took top honors in the women’s category, said: “It’s fantastic. Got my own trophy. I can say I’m a world champion. Great Spirit. It’s all just good fun really.”

The event is jokingly billed as an ancient tradition. In fact, the competition began in the mid-20th century, when an enterprising pub landlord sought a way to boost business, after the village was bypassed by a major road.

Teams of four contestants roll wooden blocks shaped like rolls of cheese through the streets – the real cheese would be unlikely to survive the competition. As with many team sports, coordination is vital to success.