Wooden Spoon Chilterns and Abbey RFC Fat Blokes 7s
The annual Fat Blokes 7s began in the Chiltern Region in 2002 at the Henley Sevens. A gentleman call Martin Cooper and some London Irish supporters went to enjoy the sunshine, rugby and a beer.
On the day, Harlequin supporters, who had the same idea as Mr Cooper and friends, challenged the London Irish supporters to a game, more beer and a chat. Some other supporters also had the same idea, more games were played and the Fat Blokes 7s was born.
The first official tournament was in 2003 at Henley with 11 teams and, in 2004, it moved to Abbey for a true social occasion. Although the name says ‘Blokes’ the women’s competition is always oversubscribed. It remains a ‘party disrupted by rugby’ providing an amazing social experience for hundreds of players and supporters, whilst raising thousands of pounds for charities and good causes.
This is where Wooden Spoon Chilterns come in, and we are honoured to have been a beneficiary for many years. We are now an integral part of the tournament as we now provide the curtain raiser on the Friday night where a Wooden Spoon invitation XV play Abbey Rugby Club.
After a 2-year break for covid, the 17th tournament took place over the weekend of 23/24 July 2022, under the watchful eye of Nick Barns, the tournament Chairman. In a well-contested match, the Wooden Spoon XV triumphed on the Friday night – thanks to Ben Radford in getting the squad of 24 players together. The 1st team pitch was well watered, a competitive game was enjoyed by a large crowd on a hot evening. It was also a great opportunity for Wooden Spoon Chiltern Committee to meet again, enjoy some time with Abbey President, Gordon Wylie, to explain what we do in the region and look for new projects.
The tournament commenced early on Saturday with both men’s and women’s competitions. Although there were ultimate winners, everyone was a winner and overall, including Fat Blokes 7s donation of £500, we will have raised over £700.
Chris Henkey, Wooden Spoon Chilterns Chairman, said, ‘Thanks to all those who were involved in making this a truly wonderful event and allowing us to be beneficiaries. All the money raised will be used locally to benefit disadvantaged children and young adults in our region, but importantly we also raised the local knowledge about Wooden Spoon’s aims and activities.’