Long live the Sevens!
Another Sevens done. And, as with the last year or so, come the questions about whether it will be the last one for Wellington. Since a lot of people know I have been involved in pretty much every tournament since the beginning they ask me if I share that opinion.
I very much don't want this to be the case. It's out of my hands and the hands of the countless numbers of people who try their very hardest to put on a great event every year. Luckily, it's also out of the hands of all the people who now seem to think it's cool to bag the tournament for the very things that it was lauded for in the first place - it's party atmosphere. The type of party changed this year with the introduction of new ticket options designed to get new people in the gates, especially families. I thought the number of kids there this year really added to the atmosphere. They brought a new energy to things and had agreed time doing it. Those people who wanted to party were still able to do that and, in many ways, it reminded me of the bank at the Basin Reserve which I used to enjoy as a kid. Families rubbed shoulders with stag dos and the vibe was pretty positive. I challenge all those people who poured scorn on the event to try it next year if it returns. I think you’ll find that the atmosphere was still great – the sunshine on one side of the Stadium draws people to the same side as each other so although there were empty seats by and large the crowd that was there congregated together so the buzz was still fantastic when you were in the thick of it.
I was certainly in the thick of things as usual. This year I was the MC for the costume catwalk and got to be the ringmaster for that crazy circus. I also got to go into the bowl itself and chat with the fans, I even managed to find some old friends from Sevens past. It is a really cool thing putting people up on the big screen and giving them a moment to be themselves and get some recognition for it.
I was also involved in a lot of other events around Wellington in the lead up to the event so I managed to get a good overview of things. There are still a great many Wellingtonians who love the tournament, the players certainly enjoy themselves and I’m sure that if called on it many of the naysayers jumping to put the boot in have had more the their fair share of fun at the event in the past.
Good luck Wellington Sevens – my fingers and toes are crossed that I can be part of one of my favourite events in my favourite city again next year.
Cheers to the awesome Dave Lintott for the photos - check out his other stuff