All roads lead north as Holt win race to host Norfolk Big Rugby Weekend in 2017
- Credit: Steve Adams
Holt have won the race to hold this season's Woodforde's Norfolk Big Rugby Weekend.
The inaugural event was hosted by Crusaders, near Hethersett, in May and proved hugely successful.
Seven county finals were held on one day and hundreds attended as some early summer sun made for a fine day of rugby action at Beckhithe.
North Walsham beat Diss 40-0 in the showpiece Senior Cup final, which was later broadcast in full alongside highlights from the day on Mustard TV.
The event is heading to the north of the county at the end of this campaign, though, and will also be expanding to include a second day for youth finals – currently scheduled for the weekend of May 6-7.
Norfolk RFU president, John Langford, announced Holt as hosts for the event during lunch ahead of the first XV's match against Old Cooperians in London 2NE on Saturday.
'Holt submitted a comprehensive bid to hold the event and it is a great opportunity for them to build on the success of last year's event that Crusaders held,' Langford said. 'Holt have a great facility with their newly-extended clubhouse.'
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Ben and Tom Youngs returned to their boyhood club to officially open the new clubhouse extension at Bridge Road earlier this year.
Holt were also awarded the Best Rugby Facilities award for 2016 by the Eastern Counties Rugby Union.
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'I would like to thank the volunteers who put such a comprehensive bid together, which is just the beginning of a huge challenge,' Holt president Paul Williams said.
'Holt have a fantastic volunteer base and have for a number of years organised the Kingswood Festivals and the experience we have gained will assist us in building on last year's success into making this a fantastic weekend for Norfolk Rugby. 'It is a great initiative by Norfolk RFU to roll it out to the youth as well.'
The addition of the Broadland Business Park Youth Finals on the Sunday has been achieved thanks to support from Eastern Counties Rugby Union, in obtaining dispensation from the national body to play outside the end of the normal youth season.
During his visit Langford also presented an honorary life membership of Norfolk RFU to Holt stalwart Mike Stott, who is president of the Norfolk Referees' Society and a long-standing volunteer in the county – becoming just the fifth person to have been awarded the honour.