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Health and safety police banished during conker tournament at Woodridge School, North Finchley
Pupils at Woodridge Primary School took part in lunchtime conker tournament set up by their headteacher
Children went bonkers for conkers when their primary school banished health and safety police and hosted a good old fashioned playground tournament.
Woodridge Primary headteacher Val Phillips set up a lunchtime conker club after requests from pupils who wanted to try their hand at the age-old battle game.
The eight to ten-year-olds honed their techniques over a three-week period before the lunchtime tournament in front of a baying crowd at the Southover school, in North Finchley, on Friday.
A total of 14 contestants took part in early points rounds before quarters, semis and the final were held to crown the eventual winner.
Nine-year-old Zac Neumann, in Year 5, beat classmate Nick Apostolou in the final to take home a trophy the school is now hoping to hand out every year.
Ms Phillips said: “It was very exciting. We have lots of clubs but this was a first. We had quite a large audience for the tournament.
“There was a lot of excitement and about 50 children rooting for different competitors. Zac was a popular winner and he looked like he’s been practising.”
Underhand tactics like soaking the conkers in vinegar or placing them in the oven were out of the question as the school’s chair of governors brought in the strung weaponry himself.
Staff carried out a risk assessment before the games, which are banned in some schools across the country over health and safety fears.
Ms Phillips said: “I understand health and safety concerns but I think if you have a common sense attitude there is no problem. We showed the children how to play and there were no concerns.
“I think the tradition of playing conkers has died out a bit. None of the children brought any in. It seems to be a forgotten game and we were trying to revive it. It was really fun and we would certainly do it again.”
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