“Relief and achievement” as final whistle ends 24-hour rugby marathon
Seventy-eight pupils from Years 10-13 played in a 24-hour non-stop 6-a-side touch rugby marathon for charity.
It would have been 100 but for some skiing related injuries and the unavoidable absence of pupils stranded overseas because of the closure of UK air space.
PE teacher Tommy Williams devised the event to raise funds for Kent-based EllenorLions Hospice at Home who cared for his mother Susan until her death from Ovarian Cancer in 2006.
Like Tommy and his father Cliff, Mrs Williams was a teacher. She was Deputy Head at Mayplace Primary School in Bexleyheath and served the school until two weeks before her death.
The marathon, played on half the 1st XV pitch, ran from 12 noon on Friday until 12 noon on Saturday.
Ten teams played each other twice in matches lasting 12 minutes. The rules provided for each team to have at least one girl on the pitch at all times, and the line-up included one all girls team.
Floodlights were borrowed through Old Colstonians Rugby Club, and there were guest referees from Colston’s staff and the Old Colstonians rugby club.
Headmaster Peter Fraser ran a barbeque on Friday evening and Head of Geography Mark Eyles produced breakfast on Saturday morning.
All players pledged at least £20 in sponsorship and Mr Williams’s recovery on Sunday was boosted by the generosity of Colston’s families and friends (final figure to follow).
“The early stages were hotly contested and the standard of touch rugby was very high,” he said. “The night shift was hard, but as the finish approached the standard of rugby improved again and the last few games were of a very high standard.
“The final whistle of the final game was met with a huge sigh of relief and a real sense of achievement,” he said. “I was very proud of all the boys and girls who competed, and I cannot thank enough the staff who helped make the event so special.
“On a personal note I know that my mother would have been overwhelmed by the support for the EllenorLions Hospice.”