Sunday 16th September - Littleport Leisure Centre

And so it was that the 6 brave volunteers for the Ely On-Line "It's A Knockout" team gathered together at Littleport Leisure Centre to do battle with 5 other teams on a chilly Sunday in September. And although this was a competition, and some of the teams certainly treated it as such, the real purpose of the event was to raise money for the severely underfunded Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. Indeed the whole event in Littleport was initiated by our team captain Al Kitching who recently donated bone marrow himself.

the ely on-line team
The Ely On-Line "It's A Knockout Team"

The Ely On-Line team, curiously called the Ely Flatliners for the day, pulled on our specially printed T-Shirts and surveyed the Knockout "battlefield". This was certainly a well organised event by the Anthony Nolan Travelling It's A Knockout Roadshow with around six carefully planned games which all invariably featured water! I had actually anticipated this "aquafest" and felt glad that I had decided to wear swimming trunks under my shorts. I did not however, envisage the amount of "aqua" that would actually be "fested" - one of the first things the organisers did was to hurl a couple of buckets over us all whilst explaining the rules - the main rule being that "you will get drenched".
And so the first game began which involved diving through a hole in the wall of a "bouncy castle" type affair, scrambling across said castle, over a second "wall", crawling under a heavy net and placing a piece into a large jigsaw - all whilst being soaked by the Trust's henchmen of course! As he was team captain, Al took the initiative and lead the way for our team setting off with gusto toward the first obstacle. Unfortunately the competition lived up to its name as Big Al launched himself toward the hole in the wall and promptly tore a ligament or two in the process - It's A Knockout indeed! Al was still in the Accident and Emergency Department of Hinchingbrooke Hospital at 10 pm that night. So with Al crocked after just 5 seconds our team was reduced to 5 members - and we had played our "Joker" - and his name was Al.  

The wettest event!

the ref gets wet
The referee begs for relief from the cold water!

The next event involved bungy rope, kids wellies with holes in, sponges, and of course water. To our immense suprise we actually won this game - damn, we should have played our Joker! Despite being crocked Al was able to take part in this game bravely managing to squeeze a sponge.

As the afternoon progressed and hypothermia set in it became obvious that this Ely It's A Knockout Team was not going to emulate its predecessors from 1973 and walk away with the Victors trophy! In fact Al was not able to walk away at all.

The organisers had saved the most sadistic game until last, and we gasped in disbelief as the instruction to swim underwater beneath a heavy plastic sheet followed by a nice spot of hoopla was relayed to us.  Yeah well, we were all soaked and shivering by now anyway so what the heck - "in for a penny in for a pond" (groan). As it happened, our man Super Steve was actually the only person from any team able to successfully "hoop his la" after the initial scuba dive, and so although we didn't actually win the event, we were officially christened "The Most Skillful Team Of The Day" - and that's good enough for me!

a helper gets his!
The Ely Flatliners look on with hilarity as one of the "helpers" gets his!

the organisers and winners
The winning team receives the trophy from Barbara Elsey and her team

The event raised over £2,100 for the Trust and we would like to thank our sponsors:

cloisters antiques
Cloisters Antiques - Antiques Bygones and Collectables - incorporating Octagon Books and "Artists Corner".

Paradise Centre
The Paradise Centre Sports and Leisure Centre and Palms Health Club
Pursuits to keep you and your family active and healthy.

certificate and medal
Report by Lee Gillett - photos by Robert Mozejko.

Visit Historic Soham

Thanks to Chris Scurrah from Soham On-Line

Thanks to the kind and lovely staff at UbiNetics Limited, who have so far pledged over £150 towards the charity -

Thanks also to Helen Palin and Michael Smithson who also contributed.

Many thanks to everyone who sponsored the team - there is of course still time to sponsor the team if you would like! (e-mail

(website no longer exists)

Registered charity no 803716