Pigeon racing, first sport to return after lockdown restrictions eased in England

Pigeon racing will beat snooker and horse racing to be the first sport to return following the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

More than 4,000 birds belonging to members of the Barnsley Carrier Pigeon Federation are released from a Kettering park on Monday morning before a 90 mile sprint to South Yorkshire.

Organizer John Greenshield says he expects his 35 racing pigeons to start arriving at his housing estate in Hemsworth around an hour and 50 minutes after their release.

Retired miner Mr Greenshield, 72, said the green light has come earlier than expected and so many birds are far from ‘in shape’.

But he said the return of the race would be a blessing for many in his community.

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Mr Greenshield said: “This is a very powerful former mining area and I have worked in the pits for 41 years.

“So many people have lost people in the mines or are living with diseases.

“The whole current situation has depressed people and there are a lot of mental problems.

“Running is something that people can get out of bed for. People are really looking forward to it.

“I think it would have killed some if it hadn’t been for a race until next year.

“It’s like putting oxygen back into the area.”


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