I cannot express enough my thanks and gratitude to all involved in the 40th “Ruby” Anniversary Kent Mini Festival hosted by Sevenoaks, Tonbridge Juddians, Deal and Betteshanger, Beckenham, Folkestone, Gravesend, Vigo, Thanet Wanderers and Aylesford Bulls on Sunday, March 26th 2023.
Without the 2,930 players who took part, we would not have a festival to run so special thanks to them, their families, coaches, managers and clubs for enabling them to enjoy a fun-filled morning of rugby.
This season saw thirty-four clubs represented on the day which is the largest amount we have had in my time as a Mini Chairperson which is a fantastic achievement. I hope all these clubs continue to attend and more join us for future seasons.
When I visited venues I witnessed some heartfelt moments of which sadly I cannot list them all, but I would like to share a couple with you all. As I approached one game it was a delight to hear words of encouragement coming from a coach beside me. After a couple of seconds, I was touched to realise that the coach was praising the opposition. This prompted a proud smile on the player in question’s face which was, for me, the icing on the cake. This shows the true meaning of rugby and what a wonderful, respectful sport it is.
I also had a lovely chat with the president of one of the clubs who quite simply summed it up with one sentence “the reason we do what we do ”. He was referring to the players in front of us covered in mud whilst playing their loved sport with the odd-shaped ball with a rather large smile on his face.
Finally, before I bore you all, seeing adults erecting gazebos and much-needed shelters, players from across the county grabbing balls and starting to pass them despite wearing different clubs’ kits, echos the core values of our game.
Rugby is a sport for all. This was proven by youth players swapping their training times to help their club host their part of the festival. Some were on the entrance gate, others pitch marshalls or maybe even both. To run this event takes an untolled number of volunteers, as a volunteer myself, THANK YOU to all of you who helped in making this season’s festival happen.
Next Season will see the 41st Kent Mini Festival being held on Sunday 17th March 2024.
Dates to remember:-