Saracens - Ignatians 'Big Day Out' at Allianz Park

Mar 02, 2014

Ignatians 'Big Day Out' at Allianz Park


ENFIELD IGNATIANS' bold and brave experiment of staging 13 consecutive games, involving all the club's teams from minis to seniors, on what proved 12 hours of continuous rugby at Allianz Park on March 1, has proved a big success, writes Jonathan Landi.

Saracens' spokesman Richard Gregg said: "Ignatians made full use of Allianz

Park and its world class facilities, and this has to be one of the best examples of a whole club approach to sports development, as it took grass roots rugby to a whole new level.

"Ignatians must be congratulated for the amount of effort and organisation that went into the day, as over 600 players were given the opportunity of playing on the 4G pitch: enabling some great rugby to be played."

Harold Pritchard, the Ignatians' youth chairman and the key catalyst in a project which has taken six months to build, was delighted by the outcome. He said: "It turned out to be a superb occasion for the club and it's amazing what can be achieved when everyone pulls together. We've had many congratulatory messages, and some have been enquiring as to what will be our next big idea?"

The culmination of the Ignatians' Big Day Out (BDO) was the floodlit London Two North-East clash between the Ignatians' first team and second-placed Saffron Walden at 7.30 pm. Although Ignatians suffered a narrow 20-16 defeat, the game provided an unforgettable experience for the players. Particularly as an estimated 1,200 crowd were treated to an absorbing encounter which was close and tense throughout.

Although equally important was the whole big match experience which took in the dressing room, the big screens and the teams lining up for the national anthems {first team} . The games were also played out in front of the cameras, including Sky.

 Saracens' winger, Michael Tagicakibau, also wowed the fans during an hour and a half spell in the morning when he posed for photos, in addition to signing countless autographs.

Masterminded by Ignatians' youth chairman Harold Pritchard, and carried to fruition by an army of 70 volunteers, the BDO caught the imagination on and off the field.

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