“Special thanks to Dominic and Josh @ Russell Property for being our main sponsor”
Neil Clark, Festival Organiser
Why do we do these things I kept on saying in the run up to the 15th and pretty much until 1.30pm on the day. The ridiculous man hours (and woman hours ) spent on admin, invites, emails, shopping lists, to do lists, reminder lists, catch up meetings, phone calls, catering planning, volunteer organising, printing, selling advertising space, weather watching, redoing fixtures, Amazon purchases, chasing clubs to confirm, marking pitches, hedge and grass cutting, redoing fixtures again, pushing printing and trophy deadlines, dealing with comments from the wife like “you at the club again”, seeking sponsors, counting car parking spaces, hammering signs, loosing car parking spaces, redoing fixture card yet again, putting up tents , cleaning water urns, moving BBQ’s and all this before the doors open to the rugby world!
Before it was light on Sunday, out of the mist like a scene from the Thriller movie, the wide awake and ready to go band of volunteers started arriving. With bacon roll and cuppa in hand they took up their spots to welcome our visitors and Stortford players into the valet parking areas around the grounds, whist other finished of odd jobs needed before the kick offs. Teams from Letchworth, Colchester, Chelmsford, OA’s, Southend, Hertford and Upminster all ascended within what felt like 5 minutes of each other, blocking the roads around the club and the A120 roundabout. Over 1000 people rocked up, and pitched tents creating a scene the organisers of Glastonbury would be proud of! “Can I get a burger” someone said on arrival to the control tent as other registered, clearly it was far too early to be awake for some people!
Matches kicked off on time, and in line with RFU no scoring from U7 – U11. Referring was managed within the age group pools, pitch marshals were on hand to time keep and ensure teams were ready to go at the given time. All went swimmingly. Some fantastic rugby was played from all teams and the core values of the game consistently demonstrated. It was a pleasure to host so many likeminded clubs and the kids enjoying themselves.
The U12s had a Plate and Cup play off with side-line support from some our 1st XV and the winning presentations given by Josh from our festival sponsor Russell Property, and our very own Tom Banks. Ending with a draw for the cup the win was given to Hertford whom gained more points collectively over the course of the mornings play.
Signs down, BBQ away, Tents away, pats on the backs, and pretty much tidy by 430pm. The silence of the pitches resumed.
Loads and loads of people to thank but a specific mention to Perry & Paula along with the catering team who relentlessly cooked and served over 1000 burgers, sausages and bacon rolls. To Tubby and Nick for the ground work prep and toilet unblocking, to Janice and team for serving over 1500 hot drinks.
Special thanks to Dominic and Josh @ Russell Property for being our main sponsor and allowing us to provide each player not just with directions to the pitches via the brilliant for sale signs, but player medals, certificates and winner trophies. To Al Jones for getting us involved with this!! To A1 Bacon and Clarkes of Ware sausages for donating product as well as all the local business who supported with advertising in the program, to Colin for control tent duties, to the legends that are the Wrinkles, to Niall McCrae for tactically planning golf weekend away, and finally to the committee of Joni, Sam and Lindsay and anyone else I have forgotten.
So why do we do this? Just because we can!!
Updated 16:59 - 29 Nov 2017 by Perry Oliver