As tropical air massed over our corner of Richmond on Sunday 15th October, the Minis Festival sported an almost summer atmosphere. Some 5,000 supporters congregated to watch over 1,600 mini rugby players from the ages of 6 to 11 enjoy the game we all love across a staggering record 33 pitches across both Richmond Athletic Ground and Old Deer Park.
BUY SOME PHOTOS FROM THE DAY HERE
Over twenty clubs participated, some from as far as Holland, others from as close as Richmond. The smell of bacon and burgers filled the air as did the excited tribal cries from young players proclaiming the names of their clubs before taking the field.
Being a Development Festival, the emphasis was on giving those players who may be newer to the game or those players who have had less game time an opportunity to enjoy coaches and advice in a safe and enjoyable setting. The feedback from all clubs was unanimously positive and the day was without a doubt a fabulous success for all involved. All had great fun and the inclusive ethos of developing all players has become the hallmark of this event; the reason why it has become a regular fixture for so many.
Watch the video of the Festival below:
For all those at London Scottish, it was an even more special day. It was truly ‘one club’. From the volunteers laying out and marshalling pitches; to selling cakes for the U12 tour to Modena; to volunteers refereeing the proceedings (including our own British Lion and Club President, Paul Burnell who reffed the U11s and Paul MacFarland the club Secretary who provided inspiration and support to the players across both Old Deer Park and Richmond Athletic Ground); to office staff manning the Cairnhill Passing Cage; to the 1st XV supporting all the clubs and players.
A special mention goes out to the 1st XV players supporting the LS U9s who had to be on the ball on this Sunday morning, fielding questions from young players such as “Where are you from?” Answer, “England, Scotland, Namibia, USA, Canada”; “What position do you play” Answer, “Fly-half” pointing to Ewan McQuillin” to the merriment of all around (LS tighthead).
— London Scottish FC (@LSFCOfficial) October 15, 2017
A growing number of the 1XV then gathered over the day on the side-lines of the U9s to watch Taylor Giles put in an extraordinary performance with whoops of encouragement at his tackling display. 1st XV second row Dom McGeekie got so enthusiastic that he gave a few team talks and knew all the names of the U9s by the end of the day. They really enjoyed receiving their participation medals from him.
It was one of those days where the whole club got a massive shot of energy that is still with us today. Iain Whyte deserves extra special praise, thanks for organising a truly fantastic London Scottish Mini’s Festival!
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