LSFC Annual Development Festival Summary (Iain Whyte LSFC U7’s Head Coach)
We woke Sunday morning to some “guid Scottish weather”, which raised lots of concerns over pitch condition and how many teams would show up. By 09:00hrs however the rain was easing off just as teams started to arrive and by mid-morning we were playing in glorious sunshine! With 22 visiting teams from 8 clubs it was a busy morning of matches which saw several Scottish players kindly stand in to aid teams with missing players to keep matches running through the morning. This type of spirit is what rugby is all about and we kept on track throughout the day finishing right on time with medals at 12:30hrs.
The children had a great time and really enjoyed meeting other players and coaches which gave them some wonderful exposure to new coaching techniques and reinforced everything we have been working on in training. I was utterly amazed at the quality of rugby on display from all the children, but of course most of all from our very own London Scottish minis. They played with honour and pride, exhibiting all the behaviours we strive for and did it with style.
Throughout the day and post matches I received repeated compliments from visiting coaches and parents on the organisation of our big day. All were impressed and everyone was in great spirits enjoying a great morning of rugby. The day simply would not have been possible without all our volunteers including coaches, pitch marshals and impromptu helpers but I want to pass on special thanks to Ross Peacock and Simon Kimble for their mammoth effort in making this day such a success. Thank you everyone.
LSFC U7’s Development A (Chris Pinney)
We had a great turnout for the Development A squad, especially given the weather that we all woke up to!
Thanks to the great pitch marshalling of David Deakin (which continued all morning) we started bang on time against Harlequins. For much of the game it was a very close run thing with Max and Henry both scoring, but Harlequins pulled away in the final few plays of the second half.
Just how hardy London Scottish are then became clear when two teams requested that some of our players help them by filling in for them. William and Sam headed off to help Regents Park and Elliot stood in for Hampstead with Magnus from our other squad. A great example of the rugby spirit, especially because all our boys immediately proved to be among the best on the pitch with their new sides! They tried just as hard playing in different colours and Elliot, Sam and William all scored for their adopted teams.
Next up for us was Old Whitgiftian. Once again everyone ran very well, with some excellent support running from Daniel amongst others leading to a good try by him. In the end our line didn't quite hold enough times but it wasn't for lack of running and tagging on the boys' part.
That was put right in our third match, with a very solid victory over Old Ruts. We continued with the rolling subs that we'd deployed all day so once again it was a real team performance. I'd also like to thank the parents who helped out informally throughout the day.
In our final match Gregor was the one to volunteer to play for Hampstead and again he was a credit to London Scottish for all his support running and effort in defence. He was playing against London Scottish and so the result of the match – a draw – seemed an appropriate way to end a festival that had seen the best of the rugby family and a really strong contribution, both for London Scottish and visiting teams, from every one of the children.
As always, the standard of behaviour from all the children was excellent and it seemed very fitting to end the day in sunshine.
LSFC U7’s Development B (Mark Tweedie)
I am incredibly proud of the achievements of the team (players, coaches and parents). Frank, Daniel, Adrien, Elizabeth, Eddie, Callum, Joe and Harry played with great gusto and clearly enjoyed the experience. I also want to call out Magnus Wright for demonstrating to all what rugby is all about. When the call from our guests came to bolster their ranks to ensure all had a fun and full day, Magnus and Jim didn't hesitate and wore our shirt for local peers.
Having played for London Scottish in its amateur years I recall fondly that it was a “home away from home” for many non-native Londoners and I maintain that as a result the friendships formed were instant and lasting. I saw the same from our kids today – a real bond and commitment to supporting each other, as well as making our guests feel welcome.
So far as today's matches were concerned there were some real highlights but I expect all who came will have their own special recollections so rather than me impose mine on all of you, I just want to say thanks for cheering us on to on and off-field success against Quins, Old Whitgiftians, Hammersmith & Fulham and Wasps. Who do we play for??? LONDON SCOTTISH!!!! That's right everyone.