Milton Keynes pair stuck on paradise island invent hilarious Curfew Games to pass time

The Milton Keynes gymnastics coach and his protégé who are stuck on a paradise island have sent MK Citizen readers a film of their hilarious efforts at Olympic-style 'Curfew Games'.

By Sally Murrer
Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 1:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 1:36 pm

Al Armitage and his former pupil, 20-year-old Sophie Fretwell, flew out to Sri Lanka on a charity mission early in March.

But they found themselves stranded when coronavirus struck and all flights to and from the island were cancelled.

Now, under lockdown rules, they are trapped in sandy beach area they admit would be paradise under other circumstances.

"We are holed up in a perfect location Talalla beach in the southern province. We are the only ones here apart from a former New York Times chief foreign correspondent," said Al, who has spent 28 years coaching gymnastics to young people in Milton Keynes.

"We have all agreed that we are in the safest place, not that we can change anything," he said.

Al has already got university student Sophie practising her gymnastic skills, using palm tree branches as balancing beams in the small horseshoe-shaped sandy bay.

But as the novelty begins to wear off, they have invented their own version of the Olympic Games to amuse people back home.

Al and Sophie with a local child before lockdown

"As we have no TV, no radio, no papers or books we made the movie of the Curfew Games. It might make you smile. What else can we do?" said Al.

The pair, who planned the visit originally to help set up a gymnastics and swimming teacher facility for children in the southern province, filmed themselves competing in a list of games including Palm Javelin, Coconut Putt, Sand Flyghting, Volly Tears and a horse event called Equestrionable.

The video ends with an impersonation of the Queen presenting medals.

Meanwhile Al and Sophie still have no idea when they will be able to fly home.