QUIRKY 400 year old Cotswold sport shin-kicking will not take place this year, due to a lack of funds and volunteers.

The Robert Dover Cotswold Olimpicks that take place on Dover's Hill near Chipping Campden have been suspended although the chairman of the games has promised that there will definitely be a games next year.

The games were due to take place on Friday June 2, with increasing health and safety costs and lower attendances both part of the reason for the cancellation.

Graham Greenall, the chairman of the games said: "We keep up with changing laws but it probably costs three times as much to run as it did 20 years ago.

"Health and safety costs have gone up for a variety of reasons, particularly in terms of the amount of security we have to have and general insurance.

"We do not want to put on a half-hearted games. It is not a decision we have made lightly but it will make next year's event better, and there will definitely be a games next year, you can stress that as much as you want.

"We hope that the cancellation will galvanise people, we will use it to regroup, and to listen to people's ideas and suggestions. We want people to say what they think should be added or taken away next year."

Shin-kicking, the highlight of the event, involves athletes stuffing their trouser legs with straw before kicking each other.

In the past, more than 5,000 spectators have attended the event.

Tug of war and sack racing contests also take place.

A number of comments on the games' Facebook post about the cancellation said that more should have been done to make people aware that it was possible that the cancellation could happen.

Mr Greenall added: "We did not know the seriousness of the situation ourselves until a few weeks ago, a number of our normal volunteers are not available for a variety of reasons.

"We had a significant drive for volunteers in the last few months as well."

A statement issued on the games' website added: "As you may or may not know, events like this take a lot of organisation, preparation and involvement of people throughout the year, in the run up to and on the night of the games themselves.

"Dwindling numbers of attendees since the peak of 2012 and increasing requirements as far as health and safety is concerned, have meant that as it stands we don’t have the money to continue past one year’s games."

The next committee meeting will be on Tuesday April 18 at The Lygon Arms in Chipping Campden. Anybody is welcome.