Sunday 16th October saw the return of one of the biggest events in the amateur rugby calendar, the London Scottish Mini’s Festival.
With hats and scarves at the ready clubs started to arrive at the Athletic Ground as the rain started easing off a little. Thankfully by around 09:40hrs, in time for the first matches starting, the rain had stopped and by mid morning the layers had been taken off and the Athletic Ground was covered in sunshine, a welcomed surprise for all (especially the parents!).
The festival has now been running for a number of years and each year the club is supported by a number of volunteers to ensure that the day can run. This year it was the turn of parent and U12s coach Simon Kimble to take the reigns and put on a show and that he did!
This years festival was the biggest to date with the Athletic Ground playing host to 19 local clubs who all attended with a number of teams across six age groups (U7-U12).
With the RFU rolling out their New Rules of Play in October of this year the festival had to take a slightly different format to ensure it aligned with the new focus of player development.
All too often at the grassroots games these days can lose their meaning extremely quickly and it was important to all involved at London Scottish that the players needs were put at the forefront of everything and that the day was as player centred as possible.
That in mind the tournament was organised and ran as two development festivals on the day; Development A and Development B.
The Development A tournament catered for those players who play more regularly and have been involved with the game for a number of years either through club, school or both. This was refereed …
The Development B tournament catered for those who were newer to the game and that had less experience of playing. The referees involved in the Dev B tournament took a more 'game coaching' approach to ensure there was a continuous focus around player development and player learning.
During the day the young players from all clubs were treated to a surprise visit from a number of members from the London Scottish professional and academy squads, who came down to give their support and watch some of the stars of tomorrow in action!
A big thank you to Aaron Booth (academy), Rich West (academy), Patrick Kelly (professional), Cameron Fenton (professional), Pete Lydon (professional) and Tom Galbraith (professional).
These days are simply not possible without all the help from our coaches, volunteers and parents who help out both in the lead up and on the day of the event. A big thank you to everyone involved in making the day such a success and we look forward to seeing you all next year for the 2017 tournament!
For images from the day and to see the photo gallery in full please visit our Facebook page.