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East Anglian agricultural students hoping to make UK proud at ‘farm sports’ contest

PUBLISHED: 16:58 26 August 2018

Easton and Otley College farming students Oliver Tyrell and Dan Goodwin Picture: JOHN NICE

Easton and Otley College farming students Oliver Tyrell and Dan Goodwin Picture: JOHN NICE

John Nice

East Anglian agricultural students will be pitting their skills against some of the best in Europe as they battle it out at farming’s equivalent of the Olympics.

Easton and Otley College farming student Oliver Tyrell Picture: JOHN NICEEaston and Otley College farming student Oliver Tyrell Picture: JOHN NICE

Easton and Otley College’s Dan Goodwin of Bury St Edmunds and Oliver Tyrell from Marham in Norfolk will be hoping to make the UK proud as they compete in the annual Agrolympics, which is being hosted by Portugal.

The event, which takes place from August 31 to September 1, is made up of 18 events, including hay bale throwing, tractor driving skills and hand milking. The farming festival is organised by EUROPEA – a European Union organisation which seeks to promote and develop farming in the green sector.

It’s the third year in a row that a squad from the college has competed at the event.

Charlie Askew, a farming lecturer from the college, said he is looking forward to the occasion.

Easton and Otley College farming student Dan Goodwin Picture: JOHN NICEEaston and Otley College farming student Dan Goodwin Picture: JOHN NICE

“We’ve been asked to represent the UK as a college which is a real feather in the cap,” he said.

“The students will be tested on their skills and gain lots of new skills to boot. Last year, our students took part in apple pressing and this year we will have events with oranges and corks.

“The competition takes place during a big exhibition – like a county show – and the team are up for the challenge.”

He is hoping that the fact that the students took part in last year’s event might give them an edge.

“The chance to represent your country doesn’t come along very often,” he said.

“You bring the flag in just like the Olympics, so it’s a very proud moment. This is a great event for our students and staff and despite all the ongoing talks about Brexit and how this will have an impact on farming, we can always learn new skills and gain contacts, make friends and create opportunities with other countries.”

Dan Goodwin, who works for Bishops Farm in Bradfield St Clare, near Bury St Edmunds, is looking forward to the opportunity.

“We hope to improve on what we achieved last year,” he said.

Oliver Tyrell, who works for the Euston Estate near Thetford and lives in Norfolk, was hopeful.

“I can’t wait to take part,” he said. “We will do all we can to make our country and the college proud.”

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