Welcome to the Wimbledon Autumn Minis Rugby Festival - 1 October 2023

With just over 1,300 kids and their parents coming this Sunday this will be our biggest Autumn Rugby festival yet! Welcome to all our visitors and we hope you'll have a fab day.

We expect to have some parking on our pitches via the Preston Road entrance. As ever, once these spaces have gone they have gone!

A big welcome to all the teams from across South West London and North Surrey.

We'll be open from 8.30am with bacon butties and coffees to kick-start your day. Referee briefings take pace by the relevant age group control tents at 9.30am, there is a central First Aid briefing at 9.45am and matches kick-off at 10am sharp. Please arrive early as we must start on time!


In short, you'll need to be an early-arriver to park in one of the two club carparks. A few permits have been issued for visiting head coaches/kit carriers (only - and once the spaces are gone, they're gone, sorry). If you have a blue badge there will also be parking at the club, please show yours to the marshalls at the junction of Copse Hill and Barham Road.

Once the club's carparks are full you will need to park on the public roads (marked green on the map). The later you arrive the longer your walk will be to the club. When walking you might find Google Maps helpful to navigate your way to the clubhouse (type in Wimbledon Rugby Club or postcode SW20 0ET).

There will be parent volunteers in hi-viz to help make the parking as stress-free as possible. Please listen to any parking instructions you are given - and respect that everyone marshalling the parking are parent volunteers. Wimbledon RFC is situated in the middle of a residential area with some of the roads being private roads so if you are asked not to park somewhere, please listen. The same goes with cones, if you see a street with cones on, don't park there. There are new privately operated parking control schemes on the private roads around the club. The neighbours report cars parked on these roads and fines are being issued we understand. You have been warned!

Anyone blocking access to homes or restricting ambulance access will be reported to the police.

If you need directions to Wimbledon Rugby Football Club click here

The programme for Sunday can be downloaded here. We are using Tournify for fixtures and they are available here.
Note: fixtures are subject to change up until the start of the festival so keep checking for any updates.

There's a Tournify app which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store here or from the Google Play Store here . In the Tournify app search for Wimbledon Minis Rugby Festival.

Here's the pitch plan - note: a larger copy of the pitch plan is in the programme, downloadable above.

In an update to the pitch plan we are using the area marked U6 TRAINING as a pitch for your matches. This is to help keep your fixtures within the usual 10am to 1pm window. Tournify shows matches scheduled for this area as "Extra Pitch (was U6 training)"

Huge thanks to our programme sponsors

The festival has been made possible thanks to the generosity of our programme sponsors. Please support them if at all possible.
Trinity School, Life Kitchens, Langhans Brasserie, Harlem NYIT restaurant, Whitgift, Kroll, Nuffield Health | Parkside Hospital, Direct Dental, Homefield Prep School, Reston Waste, Robert Holmes & Co.

A key message from Sophie Castle, Wimbledon's child safeguarding officer

Remember, everyone (parents, coaches and players alike) must observe the RFU rules and spirit of play...namely

1. Support positively and applaud good play (even if it's not your team!)
2. Respect officials and opposition players
3. Remember that children are playing to have fun
4. Behave as good role models on the touchline
5. Congratulate the opposition and make their supporters welcome

Bad behaviour by players will not be tolerated
The London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees has announced a zero-tolerance approach to backchat and appealing from players during matches. This approach is wholly endorsed by Wimbledon RFC and all players should expect to be warned and then penalised for instances of arm waiving and backchat/challenging refereeing decisions during games.

With the new tackle height laws now in force for u9 to u11s giving our referees much more to observe on the pitch, keeping calm on the touchlines is especially important. As Ben Smith, our chair of minis rugby remarks on page 4 of today's programme: "What we don't need is hundreds of "bunker reviews" popping up across Beverley Meads throughout the day. So please remember that the referees are coaches and the coaches are parents. They will all do their best but please remember if the pro referees are struggling to get it right all the time you can be sure we will make our fair share of errors too."

Bad behaviour by parents will not be tolerated. I use this quote from Brian Moore every year as the message is key: [Children] do not always recognise a general expression of disappointment and believe it is directed at them. Head shaking, rolling of the eyes, looking away, kicking the ground – any of these can discourage children, and exhortations like “come on” and “sort it out” are as practically useless from the touchline as they are on the pitch. Full article is here

Hope you enjoy the festival and remember TREDS

Teamwork • Respect • Enjoyment • Discipline • Sportsmanship

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