History of the Charity Sevens Tournament
The Cheltenham Saracens RFC Charity Sevens Tournament (July 6th 2013) was introduced by Adam Greene in 2013, and aims to raise money for a different charitable cause every year. The inaugural tournament was created as a way of raising money for small Gloucester-based charity Jamats Activity Centre, which aims to help young adults with special needs make friends and learn new skills. The event itself featured a number of social sides, mostly created by groups of friends within Cheltenham Saracens RFC as well as other clubs such as Cheltenham RFC and Old Patesians.
Charity Sevens Tournament II (July 5th 2014) wasn’t planned as a continuation, but was organised due to popular demand. The tournament was the first to be fully organised by current organiser Dan Lodge and aimed to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the event duly delivered, recruiting strong sides such as dominant Welsh sevens sides Wizards of Wales, local experienced teams such as Aniers RFC, Patriot 7s of Old Patesians RFC and Star 7s of Bredon Star RFC and beating the previous year’s total by over £300. This year’s event was also the first that incorporated the Charity Sevens Plate, won by Somerset-based Aniers RFC.
Charity Sevens Tournament III (July 11th 2015) was once again organised after a lot of positive feedback following Charity Sevens II, and saw the creation of an even stronger tournament which included names such as Lydney RFC, the Wizards of Wales, the Shredded Duck 7s and the Marchwood Dolphins. The charitable cause for Charity Sevens III was the former Mayor of Cheltenham’s chosen causes: The Aston Project, a local police initiative that worked to tackle anti-social behaviour in Cheltenham, and the Butterfly Garden, a local charity which aimed to offer young adults with any kind of disability a chance to escape normal life as well as a chance to learn new skills, new responsibilities and make new friends.
Charity Sevens Tournament IV (July 2nd 2016) aims to raise money for Liam O’Keefe of St. Mary’s Old Boys RFC who suffered a serious neck injury in a match against Cheltenham Saracens in early December. Since the accident, Liam has slowly made progress after what he described in an interview with the Bristol Post as a “freak accident”, but still remains unable to walk and is undergoing intensive physiotherapy. The money will be used to support Liam, although the club has declared that in the event that Liam is fully recovered by the time of the event, the decision of what to do with charitable total will be left to Liam.