The Vectis RFC ‘Minis Festival’, which was held at The County Showground over the weekend, is said to have received positive feedback despite a number of matches being cancelled over safety fears.
The youth rugby tournament saw almost 1,500 players and their supporting families travel from far and wide to compete at Northwood, but the event didn’t go as smoothly as organisers had hoped.
The discovery of at nails, broken glass, condoms, syringes and tent pegs led to some teams calling the pitches unsafe and as a result decided not to play. A total of 23 pitches were available for use.
Over the past 17 years the event has taken place at Newport’s Seaclose Park, but for 2019 the festival was forced to move to Northwood through ‘uncontrollable circumstances’. The field is normally used for events, not as a sports pitch.
A spokesperson for the Vectis RFC committee has said:
“The under 7s, 8s and 9s enjoyed a full, fun day and we have had really positive feedback from a number of teams.
“It is obviously regrettable that some teams were concerned about the pitches and felt unable to allow their teams to participate. The safety of players is always of paramount importance to all involved in youth rugby and is always the responsibility of each teams’ management group.
“Vectis RFC were happy with the quality of the pitched but appreciate that others hold their own views.
“We would hope that this years’ experience will not deter teams from visiting the island next year and we look forward to a successful 2020 Festival”.