Campaigner calls for kebab eating to be recognised as an extreme sport

The X Games, that annual ‘living on the edge’ tournament of extreme sports, is an Olympic celebration of all that is dangerous and thrilling – skateboarding, BMX biking, snowboarding and, if an IT worker from Aberystwyth gets his way, kebab eating.  For Barry Evans is campaigning for his favourite pastime, the consumption of doner kebabs, to be added to the extreme sports pantheon. 

By the very nature of their pursuits, extreme sports enthusiasts must ideally be young, fit and healthy – a stereotype that Barry, 42, hopes to overturn with his campaign.  ‘I used to love watching the X Games on telly, but despaired at all those lean and tanned adrenaline junkies taking part.  What about all the middle-aged, overweight and physically inactive extreme sports fans such as myself?’

Determined not to let this seemingly prejudicial attitude prevail any longer, Barry began to think about how people of his ‘comfortable lifestyle’ could participate in the dangerous world of X competitions.  It wasn’t long before he had a revelation: ‘I was tucking into a particularly spicy chicken tikka lunchtime kebab special when it hit me – why not make that an extreme sport? I’d have shouted ‘eureka’ if I didn’t have a mouthful of pickled chillies at the time.’

Since then Barry has emailed the organisers of the X Games with his suggestion several times, but has yet to receive a reply, apart from an out of office message over Christmas, but he remains undeterred.  ‘Kebab eating would open up the world of extreme sports to millions of less-than-active enthusiasts, and just think of the sponsorship deals – Pizza Hut, KFC, Ali’s Takeaway Bazaar – the possibilities are endless.’

Barry’s defiance in the face of his critics is also worthy of an endurance event, as time and time again he defends his campaign against those who say that eating kebabs doesn’t hold a candle to the edge-of-your-seat peril of bungee jumping, hang gliding or mountain boarding.  But Barry is defiant: ‘What do they know about danger? Have they ever been a diabetic who spends most of their time sat in front of a screen munching on sweets? Does BMX champ Shanaze Reade take little or no exercise except walking down the pub every lunchtime against their doctor’s firm and emphatic orders? Does skateboarding star Tony Hawk subsist on a diet of junk food whilst having a family history of heart disease? Let me tell you, if that’s not living on the edge I don’t know what is!’

(Written 15 Apr 2009)

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Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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