Sundays at Huish Park are normally pretty quiet and uneventful. A few kids kicking a ball on the training pitches, maybe some families coming up for the carvery meals while others tidy up the stadium following a match the day before.
But Sunday May 3rd was different, much different.
For a start, there was the small matter of 103 cyclists riding into town, having completed the 260-mile journey from Paris as part of the ultra-successful YTFC Get Pedalling event. This year, the YTCST is one of the three chosen charities along with Cyclists Fighting Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis and all three will benefit from the proceeds of the ride.
This year had an international twist to celebrate the third of these rides. The century of cyclists visited Yeovil’s twin town of Herblay and rode back to the border in the first two days before ferrying it across the channel and cycling back through the beautiful Dorset countryside. They arrived back at Huish Park to a huge welcome from hundreds of well wishers who were there to also enjoy a fabulous day of activities.
First up were three games between the supportive business community involved in this ride and previous ones along with a special team made up of the YTCST staff. From 1pm, four more matches took place involving the younger age groups of the Trust from under-8’s to under-14’s, using half of the main stadium pitch and offering a wonderful chance for the youngsters to appear on the hallowed Huish turf.
Following this, there was a Ladies match between two sides managed by past and present players Rachael Edwards and Kirsty Whitton and the afternoon’s on-pitch activity ended with a fixture pairing up a Terry Cotton XI and a Tom White XI; former Glovers Ben Smith, Roy O’Brien, Tommy Doherty and Tony Pounder were among the stars that played in front of more than 500 spectators and leg-weary riders who had arrived back at lunchtime. Some, like Tom White and Mickey Spencer belied their years by doing both, cycling 260 miles in four days then playing an hour of football… superb commitment to the three causes.
All the while, the smell of a barbecue and the tunes from an eclectic band came wafting across from the Marquee (Club); the weather stayed fine for many activities though drizzle turned to rain then back again later on around teatime. An auction in the marquee raised another few hundred pounds, watched on by first teamers Joe Edwards and James Hayter who had returned from the defeat at MK Dons along with the injured Sam Foley.
But having ridden through some frightful weather and fighting off saddle soreness and aching bones, a few spots of rain were never going to be enough to spoil the sense of achievement and pride enjoyed by the 103 riders. From all of us at the Trust, a massive thank you to those who completed the ride, worked so hard to get the sponsorship funds in and then encouraged their friends and families to enjoy the activities on Sunday.
We’re proud of you!