There is light at the end of the tunnel and at this moment it is shining brightly! The signs are that all of the restrictions, for the Covid 19 epidemic, that have been in place for the last two plus years are slowly being lifted and some sort of normality has returned to daily life. The Panthers and many other rugby teams have not been able to indulge in their favourite sport for all that time in lockdown etc.
We are determined to bring back some normal activity and to that end we will be reviving the famous Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament. As you may be aware this tournament is dedicated to the memory of a former captain of the Panthers who perished in the Bali Bombing in 2002. I therefore think that it is highly appropriate that this the twentieth staging of this tournament will coincide with the twentieth anniversary of that dreadful occasion.
We have also found a new home the tournament will be played over the weekend of 30th April and 1st May at the layout of the Pattana Sports Resort located just off the 331 highway in Sri Racha. You can check out the fantastic facilities of the resort at www.pattana.co.th. Due to the delay in getting started and the continuing restrictions in many parts of Asia and the rest of the world we do not expect many overseas clubs to participate.
However this will not detract from the standards of play of the local teams that will contest the trophies as most of the players both local and foreign are dying to get onto the field and play some competitive rugby. In another first we will also be running a mixed touch competition alongside the main event. As we grow older and as more of the fair sex are attracted to the game “touch rugby“ has become very popular.
Chairman Jim Howard and Captain Joe Edama ably assisted by members of the tournament organizing committee have beaten the bushes and swept the bars of the nation and have managed to assemble a smaller field than normal. However quality is high and all are convinced that there will still be lots of great rugby on display and in a revised format all of the participating teams will get to play a lot more rugby. The tournament is a variation of the usual long form of the game as the teams will comprise only 10 players per side and each game will be played over two halves of just seven (7) minutes so there will be plenty of fast action.
There will be a total of 24 games in the initial round robin stages of the main tournament on Saturday, followed by rest and recreation, maybe a stroll along Beach Road and then early to bed with hot cocoa and biscuits on Saturday night!! The knockout stages of the Chris Kays Memorial Tournament 2022 will commence at approximately 10:00 am on Sunday morning and will conclude with the Cup Final at around 17:00 on Sunday Evening.
Please do come and support your local heroes and have some fun and great craic at the same time, there will be lots of diversions to keep the little ones happy while Daddy enjoys some great rugby and good food and cold beer! The tournament could not happen without the support of our Sponsors :- Societe Generale de Surveillance, WHA Hemaraj Land and Development Co., Ltd., Manpower Thailand, Lucy Electric (Thailand) Ltd., Baron Edward Devereux and The Outback Bar.
The welfare of all participants and spectators will again be looked after by the staff of the Sawang Bangboriboon Foundation and the tents and cooling shade will be provided by CR Asia (Thailand) Ltd. The food and beverage outlets from the Pattana Resort will be offering a full range of delicious food to satisfy all tastes. We do hope to see many of you there please drop by and say hello to us at the organiser’s tent.