Work began on the 2017 KRFC minis festival in January with Sunday 15th October marked on the calendar and the invitations sent to clubs, not only on our doorstep as Old Reds and Bristol Quins but as far afield as Wellington and Cinderford. Over the following months the entrance forms came flooding in as the festival is based on a first come first served basis everyone was keen to be a part of one of the biggest rugby festivals in the south west.
Once all the paperwork had been finalised and the number of teams confirmed the responsibility of organising the pools and matches was handed to the respective section head coaches and team managers who did an outstanding job of scheduling the games so that everyone got the most out of the day and kept within the strict RFU guidelines.
All of a sudden the day was upon us. With very little sleep we rose to an overcast drizzly morning, put on the amber and black and headed out into battle! Arriving at the club at 7:30am an army of volunteers in hi viz jackets were waiting in anticipation for the first cars to arrive, the BBQ’s were soon fired up and the coffee was on! At 8:15am the first car bounced its way up the side of the 2nd team pitch, professionally guided to its resting place by the car parking crew, the engine stopped, the doors opened and a little purple and black hooped sock appeared from the footwell……….it was on!!!
The patio soon became a hubbub of players and parents guided by the smell of bacon and the thought of a nice warm cup of tea. Team Managers were set in the club house to welcome all the clubs and complete the registration process with such professionalism that the main bar could well have been mistaken for the G-20 Summit! Meanwhile the members bar became more like a pop up patisserie, stocking a fantastic range of home made cakes that seemed to appear from nowhere!
As 10 o’clock approached the car parks were full and the patio became deserted as people made their way to their respective pitches to get themselves settled in for the day. Then the moment came….the whistles echoed around Crown Fields and balls where kicked and passed to start a fantastic day of rugby.
The hours that followed were filled with non-stop rugby. Crown fields bursting with colour and noise in what can only be described as a real festival atmosphere. All too soon the matches were finished and players exhausted. Their efforts were rewarded with high praise from their coaches and parents alike and with smiles on their faces and the KRFC Minis festival medal around their necks they made their way home for a hot bath.
This year we were joined by Taunton RFC, Bradford on Avon RFC , Bristol Harlequins RFC, Cleve RFC, Chippenham RFC, Clifton RFC, Chew Valley RFC, Old Redcliffians RFC, St Brendans OB RFC, Wellington RFC, Wells RFC and Oldfield OB RFC. Within these clubs 107 teams of boys and girls brought with them a fantastic standard of rugby and above all an intoxicating enthusiasm for FUN!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the 2017 Minis Festival such a successful day. In particular the volunteers who gave up their time to set up kitchens, marshal cars, pour tea, flip burgers, hand out programmes and bake cakes! The minis festival could not happen without your support !!
However there is one apology to make……
Our sincere apologies go out to the couple who were very patient waiting in the traffic queue in order to park at the club, only to find out that it was in fact the minis festival and NOT the car boot sale!!!
Looking Forward to the 2018 Minis Festival already!
KRFC Minis Chairman