Cheese rolling races should be allowed.
Cheese rolling has been a 200 year old tradition at Brockworth Gloucestershire; however it has now been banned on health and safety grounds. However this did not stop the event from unofficially happening. As the ban was not because of fears for the contestants but due to large crowds should it have been allowed to go ahead officially while reducing the numbers of spectators allowed?
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Cheese rolling is an important tradition in Brockworth. To ban it would damage the individuality, community spirit and pride in heritage of the town. Small local events that are quirky and eccentric but have some ritual significance are the essence of British culture. To homogenise everything and to sterilise events with too many Health and Safety precautions will make Britain less attractive to tourists anyway.
The fact that the crowds are so huge means this is no longer a small local event. Brockworth's local authorities need to choose between having a large event and making money, but being highly restricted by Health and Safety and losing the spirit of the event, or keeping the event small and unofficial but making very little money. The locals have already shown that they are happy to run the event unofficially and do not care about the risk, lack of insurance and legal implications. Traditionally this would have been the case, so maybe it will work better that way.
Encourages healthy eating and lifestyle.
In the middle of a major Government campaign to improve the eating habits and lifestyle of children, they should encourage an event that promotes both locally made food and physical exercise. The fast-paced action and humorous quality of the cheese races is especially attractive to children.
The event also involves quite deliberately injuring oneself. The cheese-rolling contestants expect significant injuries such as broken bones and even look forward to them. One of the contestants wrote on the organiser's forum. 'As a cheese-roller of many years, I look forward to the chance to really injure myself each year. I have no idea how I'll hurt myself this year now. ' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/12/gloucestershire-cheese-rolling-cancelled)
Crowds are unmanageable.
The health and safety issue has arisen because of the large crowds that the event now attracts.
According to the organisers:
'The attendance at the event has far outgrown the location where it has traditionally been held for several hundred years: last year, more than 15,000 people tried to attend, which is more than three times the capacity of the site.' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/12/gloucestershire-cheese-rolling-cancelled)
There is only so much the local authorities can do to handle crowds that don't physically fit into the venue. People are flying over from Australia to view the event.
To make it ticket-only and to organise it in a more restrictive manner would be completely against the spirit of the light-hearted, chaotic local pastime it is supposed to be. The prices might get too steep for locals to afford. It might also make it look more exclusive, therefore attractive and there would be large queues trying to get tickets, the booking office would not be able to cope. Televising the event with any amount of skill would be a strain on the town's presumably small budget.
The local authorities could have done more to try and find ways of managing the crowds.
The event could be made ticket-only with a fee, and/or a limit to how many tickets are produced. The event could also be scaled up proportionally to the crowds – more cheeses could be produced, the cheeses could be rolled down multiple hills with a strict limit on the audience size around any one hill. It could be televised for those who don't have tickets. The revenue from the event would pay for itself.
What do you think?