Vena Rugby Tours

Vena ToursIf your Club is looking to arrange a Tour to the UK or Ireland, or are a Team in the UK or Ireland and are thinking about a Rugby Tour to Europe, contact Golden Oldies Player – Craig Bones – who will be able to assist you with all aspects of your Tour!

Craig Bones
UK & Ireland Sports and Education Sales Manager
Tel: 0844 844 8123 or +44 (0) 1242 650192
Mobile: 07584122660
ku.oc.ruotanevnull@giarc

http://www.venatour.co.uk/

2013 Festival Report Supplied by Festival Local Organising Committee

Logo EGORF 2013 Prague

Logo EGORF 2013 Prague

Old Boys Praha – Association of Czech Rugby Veterans have celebrated their 25th anniversary (a Quarter-Century of their existence!) in 2013 and on this occasion organised as 5th Old Golden Prague – International Rugby Veteran Event 2013 an exceptional event, the biggest in the history of the Czech Rugby: 12th European Golden Oldies Festival 2013 in June 13-17, 2013.

I. History of European Golden Oldies Festivals

European Golden Oldies Rugby (hereinafter stated as “EGOR”) is an independent Association of European Golden Oldies Rugby Teams and Clubs established during the Split Festival in 2002. In December 2002, EGOR was accepted as the Official European Governing Body for Golden Oldies Rugby, by FIRA / AER, now Rugby Europe.

However, the first ever meeting of European Rugby Golden Oldies took place already 10 years before that on June 5-8, 1992 in s´-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands). EGOR was there just as a regional part of Air New Zealand Golden Oldies Rugby which had organised World Golden Oldies Rugby Festivals since 1979.

After s´-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands) in 1992, Heidelberg (Germany) in May 1994, Verona (Italy) in 1996, Aberdeen (Scotland) in September 1998, Moscow (Russia) in 2000, Split (Croatia) in May 30 – June 1, 2002, Benidorm (Spain) in May 6 – 9, 2004, Zürich (Switzerland) in June 22 – 25, 2006, Madeira (Portugal) in June 19 – 23, 2008, Caernarfon (Wales) in June 2010 and finally Trieste (for the second time in Italy) in June 14 – 19, 2012, Prague in the Czech Republic was another venue – Venue Number 12, which hosted the European Golden Oldies Rugby Festival (hereinafter stated as “EGORF”).

It was the first time that the European Festival had taken place in Central Europe and we are proud that it was in Prague, Czech Republic.

The following table shows the history of European Golden Oldies at glance:

   Year  Place Country Teams Countries Persons
1 1992 s -Hertogenbosh The Netherlands 18 8 290
2 1994 Heldelberg Germany 20 12 640
3 1996 Verona Italy 25 12 800
4 1998 Aberdeen Scotland 20 10 715
5 2000 Moscow Russia 12 1 120
6 2002 Split Croatia 16 8 470
7 2004 Benidorm Spain 31 15 835
8 2006 Zürich Switzerland 23 12 600
9 2008 Funchal – Madeira Portugal 41 15 1500
10 2010 Caernarfon Wales 32 14 1100
11 2012 Trieste Italy 41 18 1500
12 2013 Prague Czech Republic 31 13 1000
13 2015 San Sebastian Spain  ?  ?  ?

II. Process of Preparation

The official announcement about Prague as the hosting city of EGORF 2013 was declared during the Closing Banquet of EGORF 2012 in Trieste, Italy which was one of the biggest European Festivals in EGOR History. Since 2011, the initial Organising Committee had started their work and originally it consisted of only a few members as follows: Andrej Hronec (Chairman), Jiří Livers (President OBP), Vladislav Petras (Honorary President OBP) and Viktor Hlaváč (partner for hotels and transport). First tasks included booking preliminary accommodation capacities, negotiations concerning pitches and ground facilities, negotiations on possible bonuses and discounts for the participants of the Festival with first main partners, etc.

Meeting at Prague City Hall during the EGOR Committee visit in February 2013 with City Hall representatives, main partners and EGORF 2013 Organising Committee

Meeting at Prague City Hall during the EGOR Committee visit in February 2013 with City Hall representatives, main partners and EGORF 2013 Organising Committee

In February 2013 the EGOR Delegation lead by Dave McDonald – EGOR President and Matthias Schenker – Secretary General and Werner Czerny – Member of Executive Committee came to Prague to check the status of preparations of EGORF 2013. The Delegation was warmly welcomed in the Prague City Hall and met with representatives of the main partners of the Festival like Prague Convention Bureau, Czech Tourism, Estec Accommodation Agency, Czech Airlines, Czech Rugby Union etc.

Chairman of EGORF Organising Committee Andrej Hronec and his Deputy Slávek Petras during an interview in Czech TV before the Festival

Chairman of EGORF Organising Committee Andrej Hronec and his Deputy Slávek Petras during an interview in Czech TV before the Festival

At that time a lot of work had already been done: about 2500 beds in 30 hotels of various price levels have been arranged to be available for participants of EGORF 2013; a complex of 3 pitches and facilities of RC Říčany near to Prague contracted for the Festival; various bonuses arranged with cooperation with main partners like interesting discounts for flights with Czech Airlines, free tickets for public transport in Prague, 1 beer for 1 EUR action of Pardubice Brewery during all Festival days, free tickets to the Ambassador Night Club, various trips and an optional programme for reasonable prices for a day-off, etc. etc. The main partners were presented to EGOR Delegation, especially Prague Municipality, Estec – Hotel Management Comp., Czech Rugby Union, Rugby Club Říčany, Prague Convention Bureau, Czech Airlines, Czech Tourism, Czech Convention Bureau, etc.

 

III. Festival

When the Festival started, about 1000 persons came with 30 teams from 13 different countries from the whole Europe. One overseas team came from Israel and for the 1st time a team from Gibraltar took part in EGOR Festival!

Festival Games run in correct manner in perfectly prepared pitches of RC Říčany

Festival Games run in correct manner in perfectly prepared pitches of RC Říčany

Organisation of games was made in 2 Age Categories: in Golden Category for teams with players of 35-50 years old and Platinum Category for players 50 +  years old. 20 teams from 9 countries played the Golden Category, 10 teams from 8 countries played the Platinum Category.

Final List of teams:

Golden Category Country Team Manager
Cissou Boys Montpellier France Jean-François Louvet
Elders of Zion Israel Ed Freedman
Fossy Bears Bern Switzerland Beat Schneider
Gibraltar Bay Buccaneers Gibraltar Paul Foster
Golden Oldies St. Peterburg Russia Igor Kravets
I Cangrandi Verona Italy Massimo Zanon
La Seleçao France Davy Prault
Legio Roma Italy Franco Lancellotti
Les Aix Entriques France Franck Negri
Les Bisonquinze Besançon France Francis Boucher
Les Musquets de la Leze France Stephane Lapierre
Moravian-Silesian Eagles Czech Republic Vladimír Smička
Old Boys Praha Czech Republic Vladimír Kodytek
Old Boys Říčany Czech Republic Tomáš Kohout
Old Boys Vyškov Czech Republic Antonín Kocourek
Old Rugby Civitavecchia Italy Memmo Nastasi
OPLA Bera Bera Donostia San Sebastian Spain Juan Nieva Telleria
St. Bernadettes Old Boys England Bob Hacker
Spring Cows Zurich Switzerland Ivan Sobotka
Urogalli Tandoi Udine Italy Sergio Bracci
Platinum Category Country Team Manager
All Greens Russia Vladimir Dorofeev
Brandenburg Adler Germany Jan-Marcus Lehmann
Cissou Boys Montpellier France Jean-François Louvet
Frankfurter Bembelschwenker Germany Rolf Keppler
Ragbi 59 Split Croatia Zoran Derado
Prague Platinum Turtles Czech Republic Martin Veselý
Rheinland Methusalems Germany Franz-Josef Kersting
Swiss Gnomes Zurich Switzerland Ivan Sobotka
Vintage Vikings Sweden Stefan Landgren
Y GOGS Caernarfon Wales Brian Roberts

Totally 13 different countries were represented by their own teams in the Festival: Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Israel, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales.

Welcome Drink Party at Municipality House was an excellent opportunity for all participants to meet and enjoy together

Welcome Drink Party at Municipality House was an excellent opportunity for all participants to meet and enjoy together

The Festival started with the arrival of participants before June 13, 2013 and then on Thursday June 13, 2013 by Festival Welcome Party at Obecní dům (Municipality House) in the centre of Prague where all participants could meet for the first time.  After initial drinks and food, welcome speeches were made by the Organising Committee, who introduced all participating teams and opened officially the Festival, so the party could start. Traditional Rock´n´Roll Band played all well-known hits and finally the late night surprise show was performed by lady artistes of Ambassador Night Club

On Friday June 14, 2013 Day 1 of Gamesstarted. All matches were played within one location on 3 pitches in Říčany – a small town near to Prague. Totally 29 games played on during Day 1 from which 8 within the Platinum Category and 21 within the Golden Category. All games played in a friendly atmosphere where the results were not important.

Festival Games run in correct manner in perfectly prepared pitches of RC Říčany

Festival Games run in correct manner in perfectly prepared pitches of RC Říčany

EGOR Annual Meeting chaired by the President EGOR Dave McDonald took place in the RC Říčany club house during the lunch break. Among other important items of the official agenda, San Sebastian was confirmed as a venue of the next EGORF 2015.

On Saturday June 15, 2013, the participants had a day off during which they could choose from the offer of trips and optional programme.

On Sunday June 16, 2013, the Festival had Day 2 of Games on the programme with remaining portion of  30 games from which 8 in Platinum category and 22 in Goilden Category, so totally 59 games from which 16 games within the Platinum Category and the rest of 43 games in Golden Category were played during both Days of Games… Sunny weather, very good conditions of all pitches, good level of all games played with Golden Oldies spirit and last but not least, also reasonable prices of catering services – all this was positively commented by participants. The medical assistance was ready during both days but no serious injuries were necessary to solve.

For the first time in the history of Old Golden Prague Events, the 5th edition had no final winner because according to the philosophy of Golden Oldies Rugby, all teams participating in the Festival won regardless of the real result of the respective game…

On Sunday June 16, 2013 in the evening, the Festival Closing Party took place at Pavillon E of Výstaviště Praha Holešovice (Prague-Holešovice Exhibition Area). Final ceremonies included various awards: each team received a glass trophy and an official team photo. As according to the Golden Oldies principles, all teams won, the only ranking declared was made among the eldest players of the festival who were awarded by commemorative medals and a glass Festival trophy.

5 eldest players of the EGORF 2013 were:

  1. Michel Plana, France – Cissou Boys Montpellier, 5.3.1934, 79y, centre;
  2. Jurij Deineko, Russia – Moscow All Greens, 1.4.1938, 75y, flanker;
  3. Bob Dean, Switzerland – Swiss Gnomes, 12.4.1938, 75y, lock;
  4. Slávek Petras, Czech Republic – Old Boys Praha, 7.8.1939, 74y, fullback;
  5. Siniša Tartaglia, Croatia – Ragbi 59 Split, 20.1.1940, 73y, flyhalf
Five eldest players of the Festival (those awarded by commemorative medals and glass trophies) from the left to the right: Siniša Tartaglia from Croatia, Bob Dean from Switzerland, Slávek Petras from the Czech Republic, Michel Plana from France and Yuriy Deineko from Russia.

Five eldest players of the Festival (those awarded by commemorative medals and glass trophies) from the left to the right: Siniša Tartaglia from Croatia, Bob Dean from Switzerland, Slávek Petras from the Czech Republic, Michel Plana from France and Yuriy Deineko from Russia.

President EGOR Dave McDonald then made a closing speech during which he thanked the Organising Committee for their work and hospitality and wished good luck to the organiser of the next festival in San Sebastian in 2015. At the end of the official part Andrej Hronec as Chairman of the Organising Committee of EGORF 2013 passed a new trophy – EGORF Rotary Cup for the organiser of the next EGORF 2015 to a representative of San Sebastian, Spain who made a brief presentation of the next festival.

EGOR President Dave McDonald and Chairman EGORF 2013 Andrej Hronec passing Rotary Cup for organisers of EGOR festivals to the representative of EGORF 2015 in San Sebastian.

EGOR President Dave McDonald and Chairman EGORF 2013 Andrej Hronec passing Rotary Cup for organisers of EGOR festivals to the representative of EGORF 2015 in San Sebastian.

The girls hard rock group The Apples started the non-formal part of the evening with support of the dancing group of Edita Broukalová´s  Cheerleaders from which the majority of the participants worked also as team guides for some teams during the festival. Unlimited food and drinks were availbale during the evening which culminated in a great dancing party.

President EGOR Dave McDonald in the middle of attention during the Closing Party

President EGOR Dave McDonald in the middle of attention during the Closing Party

The last night of the Festival was not the last night in Prague for some teams who stayed in Prague 1 or 2 days more before their final departure home, all saving nice souvenirs and looking forward to the next 2015 Festival in San Sebastian!

 

 

IV. Closing Remarks

The Organising Committee were starting their works with the motto: „EGORF 2013 in Prague – mission possible!“, and after all that they could finally say: „Mission accomplished“!

At the end, the Organising Committee has grown from a rather limited number of persons to the following final crew: Andrej Hronec (Chairman), Viktor Hlaváč and Petra Dušková (hotels, transport), Martin Turek (Finance Manager), Vladislav Petras (President OBP, various organisational matters), Daniela Slušová (Head of Team Guides), Martin Veselý (Accounts Supervisor, parties), Alexej Dohnal (beer organisation), Jiří Livers (ex-President OBP, games organisation, referees), Vladimír Kodytek (Captain, referees, official pictures collection management), Luděk Kudláček (merchandises, souvenirs), Martin Charvát (media), Jaroslav Vinický (official video production), Ladislav Pošík and Ladislav Říha (partnerships), Patrick Paťha (partnerships, cheerleaders),Juraj Razga (teams organization), Tomáš Jadrníček, Antonín Vosátka, Jiří Beníšek, Karel Zeiner, Petr Jaroš, Roman Trča (all volunteers), and it is necessary to mention also other 22 people as Team Guides (Tereza Buřilová, Kateřina Půbalová, Lenka Pospíšilová, Savina Finardi, Tereza Broukalová, Marta Svobodová, Michaela Černá, Monika Zeinerová, Pamela Křečková, Pavel Pytela, Aneta Hroncová, Jana Šlechtová, Klára Muranová, Anička Řečková, Alena Smržová, Lucie Halamová, Timea Borsová, Radka Čížková, Marie Motyčková, Roman Huzych, Jana Nováková, Kateřina Černá), mainly girls from a Cheerleader Group. It was typical for friendly atmosphere of the Festival, that some of these girls were even invited by their respective teams to play with them and although they mostly played rugby for the first time in their life, it was commented that some of them played rather well!

Good bye! from a team of guides and volunteers of EGORF 2013

Good bye! from a team of guides and volunteers of EGORF 2013

Final thanks belong to all partners of the Festival, especially to Estec Hotel Management Comp., Rugby Club Říčany, Prague Convention Bureau, Pardubice Brewery, PartyStanyHned.cz – Party Management Comp., Czech Airlines, Czech Tourism, Czech Convention Bureau. Prague Municipality, Czech Rugby Union, etc.

The event. was finally highly appreciated by the Czech Rugby Union. EGORF 2013 was awarded as the Event of the Year 2013 during the Annual Meeting of the Czech Rugby Union in February 2014.

 

Andrej Hronec, On Dec. 29, 2014