The last weekend of the month sees the 2011 version of the annual BP-Sullom Voe Shetland Midsummer Rugby Sevens tournament.
As always, this is a much-anticipated event and one of the highlights of the rugby season. As is now customary, the sevens is a three-day event, running from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th June.
The weekend kicks off on Friday night with the opening of the barbecue and beer tent to coincide with the usual touch-rugby tournament. Teams will be a mixture of all ages and abilities and will be picked on the night, so anyone interested in playing – male or female aged six to 60 – is invited to turn up and get involved. The touch tournament is only the warm up to a packed weekend of family-friendly, fast-paced (for some more than others, perhaps), exciting rugby.
Saturday sees the main tournament with the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Wooden Spoon all up for grabs. This year there are eight local sides competing, with four sides travelling from south. The visitors include Arbroath, Brechin Barbarians, Inverness Barbarians and last year’s cup runners-up Aberdeenshire “Supa Twas”.
The local sides include last year’s tournament champions the Shetland Select, who will be looking to make it two in a row and certainly be among the favourites. Shetland Baa-Baas will provide some good competition and The Chargers are made up of younger players in the Shetland squad.
Once again there will be a Delting team competing, as well as a team from the Shetland Recreational Trust, and after a two-year hiatus, Lerwick Spurs FC will be entering a team.
Veterans team the Curious Georges will also be taking the field, as will the high-profile Shetland Scholars team made up of local players studying in Scotland, who will no doubt be looking to cause a shock – perhaps in more ways than one!
Once the tournament has been completed, the players will head for a meal and the trophy presentations, where Shetland’s end-of-season awards will also be handed out. Following this a tour of Lerwick’s “places of interest” will take place.
Sunday is survivors’ day, with the barbecue and beer tent opening at noon for bacon rolls and refreshments. Once the teams have been decided, a survivors’ match and “It’s a Knockout” style tournament will commence, and it is hoped that a junior sevens tournament will will also take place.
At around 2.30pm local rock band The Last will take over the beer tent and play some favourite songs, helping to continue the party atmosphere throughout the afternoon.
A club spokesman said: “Shetland Rugby Club would like to thank BP and Sullom Voe Terminal for their continued support of this tournament which, without their generous sponsorship, would not be able to take place.”
For anyone interested in joining in, or taking up rugby, it is not too late. Training continues on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Clickimin, starting at 6.30pm.
For further information regarding the tournament and all things rugby in Shetland visit www.shetlandrugby.com