Get your wellies on - the puddle jumping championships are back in Kettering!

2014 winner Charlie Sleight from Kettering

2014 winner Charlie Sleight from Kettering

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Competitors from across the UK are set to don their wellies and make a splash when the annual World Puddle Jumping Championships return to Wicksteed Park.

This year organisers have appealed for boys to try and claim the crown after revealing that girls have proved to be far and away the most successful puddle jumpers.

In the first three years of the competition, it was won by girl competitors aged nine, nine and seven, with more than 80 per cent of those finishing in the top five also being girls.

Wicksteed Park’s managing director Alasdair McNee said: “Boys have a reputation for being messier than girls and there is no denying that they are enthusiastic but when it comes to puddle jumping and making a splash girls appear to be far better at it.

”That may be because they are more focussed and determined and have the precision required to make the bigger splashes, or it may be because they just enjoy getting muddier than the boys.”

A special series of championship-standard puddles are being created at the park and competitors of all ages will be encouraged to jump in and make a splash, with the competition starting at 11am on Wednesday, October 26.

Judges will give scores based on things such as height of jump, enthusiasm, distance of splash and stickability (the amount of mud which clings to each competitor).

But the majority of marks will be given for the size of a competitor’s splash.

The park is known as the home of children’s play after being founded by Charles Wicksteed, the inventor of the modern day slide and swing, to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle and get out into the fresh air.

The event, part of a free playday, is part of the park’s drive to encourage children – and adults – to get out into the fresh air and have fun.

The playday, which runs from 11am to 3pm, will also include other free activities such as a straw and leaf mountain, mud pits, pumpkin bowling, and arts and crafts.

The local emergency services will also be on hand to run fun activities for children and there is also chance to learn more about Xplorer, British Orienteering’s latest adventure for beginners.

All activities are free, however normal car parking charges apply.

Organisers have suggested bringing a change of clothes as the fun might get messy.