Wetwang Sevens Tournament faces closure

Funny story written by Joe Leff

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Due to severe over-crowding and increasing complaints of fishy smells and rude behaviour, Wetwang Parish Council are threatening to close down the annual rugby sevens tournament.

The Wetwang Sevens (referred to as the Fish Shop Next to Black Swan (FSNBS) Wetwang Sevens for sponsorship reasons) is considered the premier tournament on the IRB Sevens World Series in rugby union. It is held annually at the end of March in Wetwang (a small village in the Yorkshire Wolds) and is organised by the Wetwang Rugby Football Union (WRFU).

The Wetwang Sevens were established in 1976 after a discussion between the chairman of the WRFU and mad "Tokkie" Smith, a fish-and-chip shop executive. Smith wanted his firm to sponsor a rugby tournament with top teams from throughout the world.

Smith suggested that a Rugby sevens tournament would be logistically more feasible than a 15-a-side tournament, because they only had a small field. After an initial proposal was refused by the Rugby Football Union in England, the WRFU changed focus and sent out invitations to Asian and Pacific sides.

On 28 March 1976, clubs from Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Fiji participated in the first Wetwang Sevens Tournament, sponsored by the Black Swan and National Farmers Union (NFU). The series then grew into a competition with national representative sevens sides competing, and with this growth, the tournament moved to the Wetwang Playing Fields in 1982. In 1994, the venue was deemed too small for the tournament and was rebuilt into a 40,000 seat stadium now named the Wetwang Stadium.

Members of the Wetwang Women's Guild (GWG) have also established themselves as a remarkable force. Whenever the Fish Shop Next to Black Swan (FSNBS) cannot cope with the demand for fish and chips during the Wetwang Sevens weekend, the Wetwang ladies are always ready to step in and make many thousands of meat-pies and mugs of tea.

Despite all this hard work over the years, the parish councillors are fed up of clearing up all the mess, and are looking forward to some peace and quiet. "We thought they meant 'U-Sevens' (under-7s)," said the parish spokesman, "so we were only expecting a few kids."

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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