RUNNING round chasing each other with a nerf blaster has captured the imagination of excited children.

A fun-filled event at Willow Wood Primary School in Winsford attracted almost 100 youngsters.

Another giant game today (Friday) is expected to attract many more.

Organiser Graham Cawley, a former Winsford town councillor, said: "It was absolutely brilliant! It was the best game I have ever played, the kids had so much fun."

Ten players are sent out onto the field, each one given a dart and a blaster.

"They have to run off and have one minute to hide, " said Graham. "It's just a giant game of tag. You start the game on your own but you meet people and make friends. There is social interaction as the children make teams and form alliances.It's about not being the one who goes out in the first five minutes.

"They have to think and communicate. It is creating healthier children because they are running around."

Playing with plastic toys, he says, is far more beneficial for youngsters than being in a bedroom alone on their games console.

"Most kids play games in a dark room in isolation on their own home," said Graham. "It was so good to see kids getting out, having fun and enjoying themselves, talking to people and making friends. They learnt so many amazing skills.

"They have exactly the same kind of exciting fun in real life as they think they have on a computer."

Wharton resident Alex Bates, who served in the Royal Navy, acted as the lead marshall, time keeper and safety adviser.

Graham was introduced to the game nine years ago after being given a surprise gift by his brother.

"I suffer from depression," said Graham. "I had a really bad day. Me and my younger brother buy each other jokey presents when the other is down. He bought be nerf blaster. I thought 'what the hell do I do with this?'. I looked it up on the internet and as I am a maker, I was able to make it fire straighter and give a better performance."

Last year, Graham organised four zombie apocalypse events in Winsford at the GGO.

This year's nerf event is part of a summer family fun project co-ordinated by Georgia Winstanley from Weaver Vale Housing Trust who secured some funding from a national scheme.

Jane Spruce, community development worker for Cheshire West Communities Together, has been supporting the events and doing craft activities with children and parents in Wharton.

The funding has helped to provide breakfasts and lunches for children and parents as well as summer fun activities.

Families have been cooking together once a week with Healthbox.

Mersey Forest has been working with children and parents on a gardening project.

Families have visited Grosvenor Park open theatre and a trip to the beach is planned.

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Jane said: "The nerf events help to get the children outside and active, increase confidence working as part of a team and feeling involved.

"It helps to teach them strategy and working together to achieve an end goal. The children and parents had an amazing time.

"The feedback has been very positive. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun."