Farnham Rugby Club’s minis tour was held last weekend (March 4 and 5) for boys and girls aged six to 11.

The ‘Heroes Tour’ celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of rugby. Legend has it that 200 years ago William Webb Ellis caught a football at Rugby School in Warwickshire and ran with it.

More than 180 players, 80 coaches and 250 parents and siblings descended on Ladram Bay holiday park in Devon to play rugby and have fun on Farnham’s annual tour.

Last Saturday (March 4) the touring party was hosted by Chard RFC, where Farnham also played against Newton Abbott and Crewkerne rugby clubs.

Last Sunday (March 5) the tourists played at Exmouth RFC and were joined by Sidmouth.

The exemplary standard of rugby was bettered only by the standard of camaraderie and friendliness shown by the host clubs, who laid on wonderful hospitality on both days.

Last Saturday afternoon (March 4) the assembled Farnham coaches attempted to show their skills. Chard bolstered their veterans’ side with a number of second and third team players. However, experience sometime does trump age, and in a good-natured but very fiercely-contested battle, Farnham emerged the winners 12-10.

A rugby tour wouldn’t be a rugby tour without some light-hearted entertainment in the evenings, and Ladram Bay’s stage was the scene of the now-traditional ‘coach dance-off’ last Saturday night (March 4).

Performing a variety of well- and not-so-well-choreographed routines, the assembled mass saw – among other sights – a troupe of Wonder Woman impersonators mimicking Freddie Mercury.

However, it was the under-tens team – who organised the tour – who were voted the winners with a squad of tutu-wearing superheroes thrilling the crowd and, crucially, distributing sweets to the children. The weekend was packed full of new friendships, hard-fought games and happy family memories.

Farnham Rugby Club’s mini section would like thank the tour committee for the huge amount of effort they put in to organising the tour, Chard RFC and Exmouth RFC as the host clubs, and principal tour sponsor Stevens & Bolton for their generosity in supporting the tour – heroes all!

Report: John Hartley

Photo: Rob Lee