- Social event encourages players to return to Kent club
- Wooden Spoon received £1500-plus from fundraiser
Photo: RFU Archive
Rugby charity the Wooden Spoon was boosted by a fundraising day jointly staged by Tunbridge Wells RFC in Kent and their major sponsor AXA-PPP Healthcare, whose head office is in the town.
With two qualified referees on hand, Tunbridge Wells hosted a “Social Sevens” tournament predominantly for organisations who do not play rugby regularly.
This included teams from AXA-PPP Healthcare, DLA Piper (a London- and UK-based law firm) and The Rose And Crown Public House (mostly footballers) together with scratch sides from Leigh RFC – the “Layabouts” – and Tunbridge Wells RFC’s “The Royals”.
The tournament was won by the Layabouts with the plate competition won by DLA Piper but more important than the results was the enjoyment gained by those taking part. So much so that a number of players who had been lost to rugby signed up for the coming season with Wells while others were keen to help with setting up either a Business House Sevens league or a touch tournament.
In addition to the sevens, the afternoon included a range of fundraising initiatives with more than 20 local sponsors supplying all the food and drink as well as draw and auction prizes.
Lawn games, throwing rugby balls through tyres, a barbecue, cake stall, a crossbar challenge and an outside bar were all part of the fun.
The entertainment moved to the clubhouse in the evening for Arron Hudd, an acoustic singer songwriter, “9 Pints Later” a talented cover band and a raffle with a mixed audience of Spoon supporters, the Wells Vets in fancy dress after a tournament at Ashford and returning players from a pre-season match at Thanet.
All this together with the afternoon's activities raised over £1500 for the Spoon with the proceeds of an auction still to come.
In addition it has provided a model for combining a charity with securing returning players to the game – one of the key legacy strands of Rugby World Cup 2015.