Rugby was the winner at the 21st Golden Oldies Festival in Cardiff
Wooden Spoon took part in a truly memorable week in August 2016, when Cardiff hosted the global tournament, the Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival.
With more than 1500 ‘aging’ rugby players & their families coming together from all over the world, this rugby family converged on Wales’ capital for a week of rugby events, epitomising the values of ‘friendship, fraternity & fun’.
This spectacular tournament attracted teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, Ireland & Russia. The international mix bought both colour & spectacle on & off the pitch – and uniquely the participating players stretched generations, from those in their 40s up to aged 80!
The organisers of the event, VSL, kindly nominated Wooden Spoon as the benefiting charity for the week’s events, which kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Principality Stadium, officially opened by world class referee Nigel Owens MBE.
Nigel also officiated at a successful Guinness World Record attempt on the Wednesday of that week, with an amazing 1297 people taking part in one scrum! Check out the photos here on Facebook and watch the incredible video of the record being set:
The weeks matches were played at Cardiff University Playing Fields on Monday, Wednesday & Friday boasting a carnival atmosphere, particularly on the final day with the added bonus of glorious sunshine.
BBC Wales presenter Phil Steele, brought his own brand of humour to the week’s events with a Q & A session with former players; from Wales’ 1970s Golden Era John Peter Rhys Williams MBE FRCS, and union and league player, Adrian Hadley, at the Celebrate Wales day at St David’s Hall, as well as presenting at the opening & closing ceremonies.
The festival concluded on the Saturday with a Gala dinner on the Principality Stadium pitch, with Wales legend Clive Rowlands entertaining the Golden Oldies with his inspirational stories & motivational ‘ball coming in now’ routine.
11 octogenarians who had not only made the trip but also played a part on the field, were called up on stage by Phil Steele for special congratulations.
Huw Thomas, Chairman of Wooden Spoon Wales said he was very proud of the efforts of the small team of Wooden Spoon volunteers, who thanks to the amazing generosity of VSL & the Golden Oldies visitors had raised £30,000 for the charity.
The next Golden Oldies event takes place in Christchurch in 2018.