Haddenham Man Aims To Retain World Peashooting Title In Witcham
By elypeople | Saturday, June 09, 2012, 12:01
The annual World Peashooting Championship will be staged in Witcham once again on July 14 and the reigning world champion Ian Ashmeade is already in training to defend his title.
World Peashooting Champion Ian Ashmeade
World Peashooting Champion Ian Ashmeade in action in 2011
World Peashooting Champion Ian Ashmeade in training
While it's hardly an Olympic event, each year the World Peashooting Championship puts Witcham on the sporting map for a just day and contestants from around the district – and some from around the globe – take part in this truly amateur event.
Ian Ashmeade of Haddenham won the title in both 2010 and 2011 but he is determined to complete his hat-trick of victories in 2012. He also won last year's team event with Haddenham Easy Riders International.
Here he takes time out of his busy training schedule to talk to Ely People about his preparations to defend his title and the fame that his sporting achievements have brought him...
Are you already in training for this year's World Peashooting Championship?
Ian: "I started a rigorous training regime back in January and I am currently trying to get inside the mind of the pea. I sleep in a pea green onesie – in my greenhouse surrounded by peas."
How do you stay focussed?
Ian: "To keep my mind honed into pea shooting and basically to annoy everybody I know, I have writ a book about peashooting. It is a must read for all budding World Champions no matter what your age! You can buy the book version or the Kindle version."
Your team-mate Jim Collins is a former winner and last year's runner-up. What's the rivalry like between the two of you in the run up to the competition?
Ian: "Jim and I both cycle together regularly with the EasyRiders and I feel no rivalry now, as I proved I could beat him when my pea selection was good. If I meet him again in the competition I will just pea him off again!"
How has your year been as World Champion and did it bring you much attention and media exposure?
Ian: "I have had to move home due to the exposure and continually having to sign autographs, what with me being the Mystery Guest on The Russell Howards Good News Show and being remembered not as the peashooter but as the man who forgot his daughter's age on national TV! There are other films yet to be aired, such as 'Talking to Montserrat Oliver' will be shown in Mexico during the Olympics."
How much does the title mean to you?
Ian: "It's only peashooting – it's not like a real sport silly. But No Olympian could even get into the last 16 places! Like Sebastian Vettel, I will be attempting to retain my One Two, Pea in a row Champeaionship."
The 42nd World Peashooting Championship takes place in Witcham on Saturday July 14, 2012 (from midday). For more info, check out our What's On listings.