Elite players scrummed down with social rugby devotees to turn the Skofic Sevens competition into another record-breaking event.
Organisers of the sixth annual tournament, in memory of the former chairman of Tarleton Rugby Club Jonathan Skofic, are celebrating after raising more than £17,500 on a triumphant day which attracted 24 teams and more than 1,000 visitors.
“Once again we’ve been totally overwhelmed by the support the event has generated,” said Jack Skofic, the eldest of Jonathan’s five international rugby-playing sons. “Last year’s event was a record breaker. But this year we have surpassed even that. Dad would have been very proud. It has been absolutely amazing.”
The Skofic Invitational Sevens has gained such kudos in the six years since it was launched that it is now an affiliated tournament of the RFU’s 24/Sevens series.
This year’s winners – a side called International 7s – now go through to the North Finals, with the prize of a place in the Grand Finals at Bath’s Recreation Ground at the end of July up for grabs.
International 7s defeated last year’s champions Red Panda to claim that regional place.
Winners of the social competition on the day were Wigan RUFC, while the women’s tournament was won by Preston Grasshoppers’ Ladies. “It is a fitting tribute to my dad that we can showcase a full range of rugby, with national appeal and accreditation,” added Jack Skofic.
“I believe that hosting a sevens festival of this nature aligns closely with what my dad was passionate about –being inclusive for all abilities by providing rugby at elite levels, social rugby and women’s rugby.
“It galvanises and inspires others to be part of something positive for the community and ultimately raising funds that go towards enterprise initiatives to support and better the rugby club and local good causes.
“I’m very proud of what the tournament stands for and believe the momentum we’ve seen can only result in the Skofic Sevens continuing to grow.”