Over 1,700 Saints descend upon Reading!
Over 1,700 people descended upon Reading last weekend for the annual Reading Sports Day at Reading Rugby Club. The event, still going strong after 34 years, sees Saints (St Helenians) from across the UK visit Reading to catch up with friends, family and meet new people. It’s the perfect family occasion with around 700 free entries to children being dished out this year, which resulted in some impressive entries in the Fancy Dress Parade!
For a second year running Enterprise St Helena also attended, providing Saints based in the UK inspiration to return home to share their skills and put them to use on the island. An ideal opportunity, as the island prepares for the opening of its first airport, due to be operation in early 2016. Clearly then, Reading Sports Day is not only an event which allows people to build relationships; it also invests in St Helena’s future and benefits charities back on the island.
We caught up with both of Reading Sports Day’s fabulous organisers, Trevor and Vilma, who have done a brilliant job this year. They have told us why they enjoy the event so much. Trevor said, “I have been married to Vilma (a Saint) for over 40 years so Saints have been a big part of my family and my life for a long time. Owen George MBE, the founder of Reading Sports invited Vilma and I to join the committee to help revitalise the Reading Sports as it was in decline… What do I enjoy about it? – well the same as most I guess; great atmosphere and meeting old friends…I love it really, and get a great buzz seeing it all come together.”
We also spoke with Vilma, “I enjoy the meeting and greeting of family and friends. Surprise meetings, such as seeing one of your teachers and meeting someone from your primary school after 40 years! I love the warm friendly atmosphere and the fact that the children can run free.”
Do have a look through the images on our image gallery. You can see an even bigger collection by visiting saint.fm.
There is big news next year as Reading Sports Day moves to a new venue; similar distance to the current one but offering much better facilities. Pop over to St Helena Online who appears to have the inner scoop on this one!
Did you attend Reading Sports Day this year?