Wooden Spoon Tag Fest: A Day of Fun, Inclusivity, and Rugby

The Wooden Spoon International Tag Festival took place this past Saturday at Broadstreet RFC in Coventry, drawing an enthusiastic crowd and fostering an atmosphere of joy and inclusivity, the festival was set for a day full of rugby excitement and community spirit.

With 23 teams for Under and Over 15s with mild and severe learning disabilities and with help from supporters Omerta and Valencia Waste, the festival marked the start of Wooden Spoon’s broader initiative to expand the disability rugby scene across the UK and Ireland

The event kicked off in the morning with a dancing warm-up hosted by volunteers Andy Daly and Andy Angel followed by warm-up games, allowing players to get to know one another and build camaraderie. The sun shone brightly, setting the stage for an ideal day of rugby. In the afternoon, the matches commenced, showcasing the skills and sportsmanship of all participants. The day concluded with a delightful post-match dinner and a lively disco, ensuring that the celebrations continued well into the evening.

One of the highlights of the festival was the presence of Jodie Ounsley, former Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs player. Jodie not only graced the event with her presence but also participated in a match for the Thanet Wanderers, much to the delight of the attendees. Reflecting on the day, Jodie commented, “It’s been amazing, I was blown away when I turned up and saw the turnout, the atmosphere, and just how excited the kids are. It’s just brilliant.”

Henry, a team captain, shared his enthusiasm: “It’s been amazing, it’s full of people, full of love, full of life…everything. I really enjoyed it and I hope I will be back again to do this all again soon and I really thank you guys.”

Andy Daly, a Wooden Spoon Volunteers echoed these sentiments: “Amazing day, such great fun seeing everyone getting stuck into games, rugby, singing, and dancing. So inspiring to see exactly what this amazing charity and team are about, creating fantastic experiences through rugby. The games were so joyful. Definitely can’t wait until next year.”

Matt Mitchell, Rugby Manager, Wooden Spoon said “Tag Fest is a really joyful and heart warming event focussing on building connections between individuals with different abilities who typically struggle with communication. They flourish when rugby is involved”,

Whilst Sarah Webb, CEO of Wooden Spoon expressed “It’s just a fantastic day, we couldn’t do it without our volunteers and without these brilliant kids. Thank you to everyone for your continued fundraising and support efforts”

Overall, the Wooden Spoon International Tag Festival was a tremendous success, bringing together players, families, and supporters for a day that celebrated the spirit of rugby and the power of inclusivity. We look forward to many more such events in the future, continuing to create unforgettable experiences through the wonderful game of rugby.

We thank all our teams, volunteers and supporters including Omerta and Valencia for making this incredible event happen.