The thought that another country, culture and different way of life is merely an hours flight away is unbelievable. That’s why the number one reason that stands out for many people to live in London is that London it is the gateway to Europe.
Touch Rugby players living in London have the travel and sport combo here down to a T.
With the start of the Touch season freshly kicking off, already you can see ‘touchies’ (as they are affectionately known) running around with tans that stick out amongst the pasty Londoners. Why?
Well, on the weekend of the 7th and 8th, two London based clubs send two in2touch teams each to Valencia (Spain) to take on teams from other European countries. Competing against teams from France, Scotland, Ireland and Spain, this was the tournament to kick off another season of passport stamps. It was an amazing weekend that displayed some incredible touch skills (on and off field). Big shout out to HOT CUSTARD who took home the GOLD!
Hot Custard and London Galaxy are two examples of London based clubs that regularly compete in In2Touch leagues along with competitions all over the world. Last year alone, Galaxy London sent 27 Galaxy teams to 21 events in 6 countries (Spain, France, Guernsey, Switzerland, USA and England), with 9 wins. The biggest competition and furthest travelled was the World Club Cup, held in Orlando, Florida. The Galaxy team did AWESOME, winning all games – and only going down in the final to Galaxy New Zealand by a few touchdowns.
They aren’t the only London In2Touch teams that send players away to compete internationally. Along with Galaxy and Hot Custard, Gurus London and BBR London are also regulars at one of Europe’s most acclaimed best mixed completion. For one weekend, the small French village of
Gif-sur-Yvette is adorned by 16 of the best teams in Europe. The one day completion is a battle royale to be titled ‘Winner’. In the evening however, the day’s games are forgotten, and everyone is there to just have a good time, and party under the French moonlight. With the village locals cooking and serving all the food, this competition really creates the atmosphere and showcases what the community of Touch is all about.
Galaxy, Hot Custard, Gurus and BareBack Riders are also some of the main contenders in the annual NTS (National Touch Series) which runs all over England. With all clubs having entered teams for this year, can Galaxy take home their 6th win? The first NTS will be played in Nottingham, hosted by the Nottingham Hoods touch club.
The beauty of the touch tournament is that, you go to play hard that day, but play even harder at night! The social aspect of the sport is fully emphasized on the post-tournament parties. Dancing the night away in Spain, tasting the local brewed Guinness in Ireland, driving around the Eifel Tower in a party bus (Paris Elegance Women’s tournament did this), midnight dip in the Guernsey beaches… Touch players have swum in many oceans, tasted local delicacies, been lost in cities older than their own country, slept in floors of sports halls across Europe… anything for a good time!
Touch is about creating memories, meeting new friends, having amazing times (and spending more money on costumes for a night out than normal clothes).
Touch is more than a sport; it’s a way of life.