On Wednesday, 14th October, over 400 children from 52 different primary schools from all over London, packed into the Official Rugby World Cup Fan Zone in Richmond to make history by shattering the world record for the largest tag rugby tournament of all time.
The joy of victory and agony of defeat was felt by many teams over the course of the day, but everyone shared in the victory of a Guinness World Record, a record which previously stood at 336 participants, and now officially stands at 442, and officially recorded by a Guinness World Record adjudicator.
The record-breaking event was strategically scheduled to take place after the group stages of the world cup were over and before the knockout stages began. The event was fully endorsed and supported by London Scottish Rugby Club and Twickenham Rugby Club, who together with Richmond Council and the Try It festival, provided coaching volunteers and refereeing throughout the day.
Boys and girls of all ages ranging from 8-13 took part in the mixed tag rugby tournament, where three girls had to be on the pitch at all times. “In terms of a community event, all of our schools are a part of it,” said Chris Jones, the tournament organiser, “It has been a great coming together of community, and a great effort by everyone involved.”
Although England is now officially out of the tournament, communities all across the UK continue to rally around the sport of rugby. That togetherness was exemplified by the 442 school-aged players, but also by the large host of volunteers, parents and supporters during the day.