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Tai Chi world record attempt

PUBLISHED: 10:27 28 July 2010 | UPDATED: 14:54 02 August 2010

A SOOTHING spirit of oriental meditation descended on Swaffham during a bid to break a Chinese-held world record for the biggest-ever Tai Chi class.

A SOOTHING spirit of oriental meditation descended on Swaffham during a bid to break a Chinese-held world record for the biggest-ever Tai Chi class.

About 50 townspeople arrived at The Campingland on Sunday morning to join an anticipated 40,000 others around the country, simultaneously practising their moves to try and top the existing record of 33,996.

The 30-minute routine was synchronised from Wiltshire, where it formed part of the World of Music, Arts and Dance (Womad) event, and entry fees were donated to the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity.

The Swaffham event, organised by the Academy Tai Chi club, included town mayor Ian Sherwood and his wife Julie. Mr Sherwood made his own interpretations of postures with descriptive names such as Wave Hands Like Clouds, Snake Creeps Down and Part Wild Horse's Mane.

“I have never done this before, but I have always had an interest in it, so it is great to see a local club like this,” he said. “The support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a cause which is very close to our hearts and it is nice to see a group of people out on a Sunday raising money and enjoying the fresh air.”

As well as thousands of festival-goers at Womad, the record bid was synchronised with 131 instructors across the country.

Barabara Smith, who runs Academy Tai Chi with her husband Alan, said: “When you do Tai Chi outside as part of a group it makes you feel fantastic and I can really see why the Chinese do it outside in the early hours of the morning.

“The main thing about today was to raise money for the charity, but it will give us a real buzz if we can break the record as well.”

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