Shin-kicking is the slightly bizarre highlight of the Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpics (Olympics) held on the first Friday in June. Started by a local barrister Captain Robert Dover in 1612 at Dover’s Hill, above Chipping Campden, the annual event features some well known countryside games such as tug-of-war, obstacle races and a five mile run, but it’s the shin-kicking competition that draws the crowds.
Contestants first fill their trouser legs with as much straw as possible to help soften the blow. Two contestants in turn then play a best of three, to hold arms and kick each other using steel toe-capped boots until one of them is so bruised that he cannot stand the pain and falls to the ground.
(Sharp intake of breath through teeth… ) Ouch!