The sponsored pre-season rugby festival has become an integral part of the Zimbabwe Schools rugby calendar and for Prince Edward an important rugby occasion in the hosting of this prestigious six day event.
In the earlier years from 1987 to 1992 the festival was limited to school first teams only but in 1993 it was widened to include the under 15 age group considerably increasing the number of teams.
The festival has attracted teams from outside our borders notably Namibia and South Africa giving Zimbabwe an opportunity of playing sides they would not otherwise have encountered.
The festival has also attracted referees from Tunisia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Without exception the sponsors, visiting schools and the public have praised Prince Edward’s capable organization, hospitality and swift response to crises when some teams having signified their desire to attend, fail to arrive necessitating a rapid re-arrangement of fixtures.
There is no winner in this festival, other than the game of rugby, but at the conclusion prizes are awarded to the team playing the most attractive rugby and the team showing the most improvement.
The organizers have always attempted to match strength with strength but this has not always worked out so that there have been some lopsided games as for example when PE beat Milton 109 – 0 although it has to be noted that not every team can field their best players as some will inevitably still be on holiday, injured and so on.
The growth and popularity of the festival which attracts large crowds can be seen from the brief summary of some of the past events.
Held from the 4th May to the 9th May, with 26 Schools took part each playing 3 matches. Being a festival, coaches had the Opportunity of changing players around to try different combinations.
Prince Edward’s 90th Anniversary Year, another successful and Enjoyable occasion, when 31 schools participated, more than ever before. Schools were complimented for their general turnout and it was apparent the playing standard had improved since the last festival.
The festival was a most resounding success from the playing point of view, and also from the spectator angle. Three Prince Edward teams took part, only 1 game being lost out of the nine played.
This year 34 schools took part, each playing three games. 53 matches were played at an average of28 points per game. By popular demand the final game was between our 1″ team and Falcon the latter scrambling to 6 – 0 win. Two Prince Edward teams took part with 4 wins and 2 defeats.
Once again the school hosted the National Schools Festival from 7 to 12 May. In all, 36 teams took part, and because the Africa Zone Section for the
World Cup coincided; games were also played at the Police Grounds as preludes to the Cup matches. This festival Gained world-wide publicity, and featured in the magazine “Rugby World”, with favorable comment.
Thirty eight schools, including one from Namibia attended and 58 matches were played this year the high density suburb team was disbanded and replaced by the individual schools, Harare high, Mbare and George Stark.
The standard of rugby was generally high and Falcon College was awarded the price for the best rugby with Marlborough High claiming the price for the most improvement.