Update** Unfortunately this year’s Pooh Stick World Championships have been cancelled to do poor weather. Keep your eyes on the Rotary Club of Oxford’s website for next year’s event details.
While the phrase “Pooh Stick” might evoke some shudder worthy images, rest assured that these championships have the most innocent of intentions. The name “pooh sticks” actually comes from the beloved childhood series, Winnie the Pooh, and involves standing on a bridge and dropping sticks into a river on the upstream side, then seeing which stick appears first on the downstream side.
The first official Pooh Stick match was most likely played on Posingford Bridge in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex in the United Kingdom by Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin Milne. The bridge attracted so many visitors that it eventually had to be rebuilt, partly from community funds and partly from a donation from Disney. The bridge is now called Poohsticks Bridge (go figure). Though the late Christopher Robin disliked the (often negative) attention he received for the series, he did officially reopen the bridge when it was completed.
Unfortunately, The Pooh Stick World Championships don’t actually take place on this bridge but are rather set over in Oxfordshire on Little Wittenham Bridge, and are hosted by the Rotary Club. The event raises money for local charities and entry fees range from £2 (individual) to £12 (team). The event has been going strong for 30 years and has attracted competitors from Japan, Russia and the Czech Republic. They have also raised around £30,000 for local charities. Along with gift bags containing jars of honey, participants can expect a bouncy castle, carnival games, balloon animals and a “human fruit machine” (?)
When: March 24th 2013 – CANCELLED
Where: Day’s Lock, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom