18 April 2017
It is a very special weekend for East Grinstead Rugby Club as they host the 60th Sunshine Seven. This established local event is now the longest continuous running Sevens Tournament in the Country which is certainly worth celebrating. This unique Tournament has managed to establish itself on the Elite Sevens circuit but also keeping its main focus on raising money for local Children’s charities, raising over £250,000 pounds overall.
Major Clubs in the South embraced the Charitable status, London Scottish, London Welsh, Harlequins, Blackheath and Rosslyn Park all competed and won the “Lady Astor of Hever Trophy”.
As the Sevens game has now developed to an Olympic sport specialist sides now compete, like Apache the current holders return on Sunday to see if they can make it three in a row. There will be strong opposition from Samurai, Wooden Spoon, Maurauders, J9 and Esher as twenty Elite sides will battle for 60th honour. There will also be huge competition for the “Player of the Tournament” watch donated by Penny Farthing Jewellers.Action starts at 11.00.
The Sunshine Sevens also welcomes England Sevens Captain Tom Mitchell on Sunday. Tom will just be returning from Singapore, but has found time to help mark this special occasion. Rugby League star Jo Lydon will also be there coaching a strong Irish Wolfhounds side.
Saturday there will be an International flavour with the Norwegian Ladies returning to defend their tithe for the Steve Cairns Trophy. East Grinstead first team may have more to celebrate, with both first and seconds having won their leagues, the First team will be competing in a Cup final for the Sussex Plate on Saturday at Chichester.
The Sunshine Sevens Committee will be looking to use this weekend to raise as much money as they can for their local charities. Having got its identity from supporting the Sunshine Home for Deaf and Blind Children, the home closed in 1997. The Sevens has raised money for many other local charities over the years such as Riding for the Disabled, Kidney Research and Opportunity Playgroup. This year they will again be supporting the Step by Step School for Autism, Wooden Spoon Sussex and a new charity Special Families East Grinstead.
East Grinstead Rugby Club would like to dedicate the 60th Sunshine Sevens to Steve Cairns who did so much to make this Charitable event what it is today.