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A Question of Sport...
Published 07/04/14

SPORTS stars including Sir Steve Redgrave and Katherine Grainger took part in a charity quiz in Henley.

More than 80 people attended the Question of Sport-style event at the Chocolate Café in Thames Side to challenge a panel of athletes with sporting trivia questions.

The evening was compered by broadcaster Steve Rider and joining Olympic rowers Redgrave and Grainger on the panel were former All Blacks star Zinzan Brooke and Paralympians Naomi Riches and Hattie Little.

Each panellist was asked a series of questions and awarded a point for each correct answer.

Questions covered the identity of the world’s largest rowing regatta and the speed that an arrow leaves an Olympian’s bow and one person asked, “what’s gone wrong at Man Utd?”

Brooke was given an extra point — and a standing ovation — for his rendition of the Haka, a traditional war dance performed by the All Blacks before a rugby match.

The event, which was organised by children’s charity OK Our Kids and Marlow FM, raised almost £3,000.

OK Our Kids was started by former police community support officer Tony Churchill and his former colleague Claire Annison in November and Grainger is a patron.

The charity aims to raise awareness of the dangers faced by children and will use the quiz proceeds to print and distribute a book called Watch Out! A Children’s Guide.

Marlow FM will use its money to replace equipment that was damaged when its studio was flooded in February.

Mr Churchill, who moved to the UK from New Zealand 17 years ago and lives in High Wycombe, said: “The evening went really well.

“We had such a good crew of celebrities and the support was great. The highlight was Zinzan Brooke’s Haka, which was absolutely amazing.”

Little, who hopes to compete in archery for Team GB at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, was asked to attend by Mr Churchill after they met in London in September.

She lives on the Isle of Wight and carried the Olympic torch during its tour of Britain in 2012.

Her first question was on New Zealand sports stars of the Nineties to which she replied, “I wasn’t born.”

Sir Steve jokingly offered the same answer when he was stumped by a question on sport in the Seventies.

Little said: “I was very excited before the quiz even though I know nothing about sport other than some pointless Olympic torch facts.

“I carried the torch in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, which was very special.” Mr Churchill said: “We call Hattie our diamond. We are going to sponsor her and she will help us by coming into schools to talk to children. She will go a long way in her career and we are going to look after her.”

Sir Steve is a patron of Marlow FM and said: “It was a no-brainer to come along. It’s all for a very good cause and everyone in the room made it worthwhile coming. There were some good questions, including ones on New Zealand cyclists in 1996 which I had absolutely no idea about.”

The quiz was won by Brooke, who was presented with a trophy and posed with a New Zealand flag. Members of the audience then took part in a question-and-answer session with members of the panel.

Brooke told how he was superstitious so he had always sat on the same seat on the New Zealand team coach and once had to tell 6ft 5in team-mate Jonah Lomu to get out of “his” seat.

Five signed copies of Sir Steve’s book Inspired and five of Katherine Grainger’s autobiography were auctioned for £50 each and two framed pictures of Sir Steve winning gold at the Sydney Olympics went for £220.

Brooke said he enjoyed the evening. “It was very relaxed and fun,” he said. “We had some very good questions and I got away with it a bit because some of the questions for the other guys were quite tough. Even though I won the trophy, we were all winners.”

Rider added: “It was a really fun evening and this part of the world always shows great support for these kinds of events.”

Maria Hastings, whose husband Roy co-owns the cafe, said: “I think the evening was awesome. I was sitting there thinking I couldn’t believe I had the idea and now the panel were there before me.”

PUBLISHED 07/04/14

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