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Diary - Block and awe

Last week, it was chess boxing. Now the latest odd sport that adventurous PE teachers could consider introducing is anvil shooting. The pastime is gathering a following in the American South West and involves using gunpowder to fire an anvil up to 200 feet in the air.

Participants place the anvil upside down on the ground, fill the cavity with black powder, and then carefully place another anvil on top. Then they light the fuse and run as fast as they can. The bulky instruments can reach an impressive height, according to the world champion anvil shooter, Gay Wilkinson, from Missouri.

What's the appeal? Mr Wilkinson says the thrill lies in launching something that wasn't meant to be launched. "People talk about the joy of sex, but it don't last like the joy of shooting anvils," he told the St Louis Riverfront Times.

If you thought getting health-and-safety clearance for school trips was bad, this could be really heavy going.

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