The tour for the Minis section (six to 12 year olds) is always a highly anticipated annual club event and as usual, all the spaces sold out within days of the tour dates being released.
A total of 600 tourists made the trip west, with approximately 200 players and their parents and siblings making up the rest of the tour party.
It was with great excitement that the tourists started arriving at Ladram Bay holiday park (tour HQ for the weekend) from lunch time on the Friday.
The tour committee greeted them with goody bags containing their ‘On Safari’ tour branded kit (sponsors names all prominently displayed) and bottles of prosecco for the tireless mums and dads.
Friday afternoon was spent settling into accommodation and finding friends while tactics were keenly discussed by coaches and parents well into the evening in the bar.
Everybody was up bright and early on Saturday morning to board the coaches to Topsham Rugby Club where the first games of the tour were to take place.
The hordes of Farnham players sporting their black and white zebra tops and paw print rugby socks must have been an intimidating sight for the locals at Topsham RFC, but their friendly and welcoming club made for a great atmosphere.
After a morning of hard-fought games, it was a tired, but happy squad which made their way back to Ladram Bay. Traditionally the Saturday afternoon of tour is an opportunity for the tourists to relax and enjoy the facilities at tour HQ, and this year was no exception.
Throughout tour history the coaches have entertained their players with hilarious and often very well-rehearsed skits and dances on the Saturday evening. This year saw Storm Troopers dancing to Beyonce, rhinos in tutus and tribesmen hunting monkeys to name a few.
The supportive audience were all suitably attired in safari kit or onesies in the form of animals from the African Savannah. All in keeping with the ‘On Safari’ theme for the weekend.
The teams were greeted with sunshine and teams from Exmouth and Sidmouth ready for good spirited, but hard-fought games against the touring sides. Farnham once again held their own and did themselves proud against some well drilled squads.
After an action-packed weekend, for some the tour was over and it was time to head back to Farnham tired, happy and with more great memories made.
Others chose to make the most of the start of the school holidays and stayed on another night to enjoy all that Ladram has to offer and what better way to end the weekend than freshly cooked fish ’n’ chip suppers eaten at sunset on the breath taking Ladram Bay beach.