Last year I spent my birthday at the Hong Kong Sevens thanks to my good friend Les Hales. I got badly sunburnt (two much beer to the point that I did not realise I was no longer in the shade), met a very old friend who I had not seen for twenty years and had a great time. Wales won the Plate, and should have been in the Cup bar an unexpected result.
This year I was scorer and timekeeper for the Marlborough under-14 Sevens tournament. Equipped with a hooter and a stop watch, on a freezing cold day with gale force winds blowing across the downs (the club is very exposed). In parallel in Hong Kong Wales again won the Plate and were kept out of the cup by a shock loss by New Zealand. I also got badly sunburnt as the wind was so strong and the temperature so low I did not notice that the sun had been fully out for the whole day.
A sense of symmetry, and also the importance of adult volunteers to run social activities for children. The kids were scarily professional and fully committed. Some of the tackles were ferocious and we ended the day with one fractured shoulder (but a big smile when he returned from hospital with a sling determined to support his mates). I am pretty sure I saw at least one if not two future internationals playing today. Both events equally enjoyable in very different ways (and I loved blowing the hooter ….)
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While I was in Singapore for the RAHS forum, Gary Klein and I agreed to ...