Last Sunday saw 32 teams converge in Jamhour for the Melanie Freiha Touch Tournament. Sunday the 3rd of May was a sunny spring day with young boys and girls, club players, school teams as well as veterans. While the final was played between two skilled senior teams, from Beirut and Graywolves, the centre piece of the tournament was the diversity of teams and the common joy in the game of Rugby.
The tournament was held in honour of Melanie Freiha, an ex Jamhour student as well as rugby player. Fittingly therefore, the tournament was a joyful celebration of family, friends, rugby and community which everyone enjoyed. It is hoped that it will, as a result of its success, become an annual event. The rugby tournament was followed by a concert in the grounds of Jamhour to top off a great event.
True to the ethos of the game, all 64 games were held in good spirit. Starting at 10am, the tournament went on till 5, with a tight final being played between Graywolves and Beirut. Going into extra time, the teams were still at a deadlock, with 6-6 when the time for that ran out. It finally came down to golden try with Sam Jarouche following up on his own grubber kick to score the winning point.
With teams of girl scouts, 8 year olds, veterans, schoolboys and club and national team players all competing together, an atmosphere of fair play and camaraderie reigned. For example, some national team players played on the same team as 8 year olds to make the tournament that bit more special. Mixed teams, where girls tries counted for two, meant that many teams had both guys and girls playing rugby together.
Overall, a heartwarming event that brought rugby to the masses in a fun and friendly way. An amazing commemoration for an amazing girl – It’s safe to say Melanie Freiha would have thoroughly enjoyed the day.
#LebanoninUnion #MelanieFreiha #TouchRugby #Jamhour