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TGRFC Christmas Party 2020

To close out a year shadowed by Covid-19 and the passing of the club’s dear friend and stalwart Akira Yamagen, the Gaijin gathered for the annual Christmas do. Numbering around 50, including old boys, girlfriends, friends and family, the festivities got underway with a feast fit for a king at Ebisu Garden Place, served up by former club captain Asapi Bati.

David McElhinney, stand-in captain for the year (in the absence of Louis Hamilton), hosted the event which included a rather a long-winded and unplanned speech covering the various happenings at the club over the course of the calendar year. Briefly, they were as follows:

  • A tour to the Bangkok 10s tournament, in which the Gaijin played a total of 0 minutes of rugby thanks to Covid-19
  • A huge player turnout at training sessions following the Tokyo state of emergency and the government’s accompanying stay-at-home-requests; these encouraging player numbers continued throughout the second half of the year
  • The return of many old boys and former players who hadn’t laced up the boots for the Gaijin for many a year
  • The founding of the Tokyo Gaijin Girls Club, and a growing number of ladies entering the rugby fray
  • The inaugural Tokyo Gaijin Rugby Golf Competition in Tochigi Prefecture
  • The return of the Shuto League after the other major annual competitions – namely, the Katsushika League and the Tokyo Cup – were cancelled
  • And the swansong of Joffa Harris, who joined the Tokyo Gaijin in the mid-90s and continued in fine fettle well into his 50s; a club man through and through, he will be sorely missed
  • Last, but most certainly not least, the untimely passing of the great Akira Yamagen: Rest in peace dear friend

Speeches followed from the Club Chairman, Tomofumi Nasuno, and Tokyo Gaijin Girls’ captain Yuki Kimura. Nasuno, touched base on several of the above points – unfortunately McElhinney’s speech and had tread on his toes somewhat – and Kimura thanked everyone for their support of the Gaijin Girls’ and spoke of her excitement about the season ahead.

Closing off the night was the annual awards ceremony, including some very special accolades indeed. They were as follows:

Shinkansen Man: Daisuke Teraoka

Best Couple: Kohei Ishikawa and Kozo Kimira

Mr. Sugadaira: Yu Nagai

Dirtiest Player of the Year Joffa

Rookie of the Year: Oisin McPartlin

Comeback Player of the Year: Chris Lucas

Staff of the Year: Taku Eguchi

MVP: Yuta Oba

Gaijin Award: Joffa Harris

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