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If you’ve been following our social media channels recently, you might have seen that Steven Cote managed to convince a bunch of Dayshapers to form a touch rugby team in the name of a very worth charity – Maggie’s Centres.

Now that the first Business Fives Business Sevens Edinburgh tournament is over, I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on our experience.


I don’t think any of my colleagues would be too offended if I said that our rugby skills weren’t in abundance. Marathon runners? Tick. Wrestling coaches? Sorted. Ex-professional rugby players? Not quite.

So what did our willing volunteers have?

  • A supply of kid-sized rugby balls and the enviable coaching skills of Andrew Bone (based on his time at the helm of his 10-year-old son’s rugby team)
  • The enthusiasm of Hannah O’Brien and her knowledge of touch rugby rules
  • Several keen team members who used to play rugby some time ago
  • Several more team members who had never even touched a rugby ball before…


Our training ground was more Meadows-mud than Murrayfield (and we had a lot of inclement Scottish winter weather to contend with) but crucially, we brought a lot of enthusiasm, the usual hefty dose of Dayshape scrappiness, and a willingness to learn a new sport in aid of an amazing charity.

After our first training session in December, I think there was a fair bit of concern about what we’d signed up for. Turns out if you’re trying to pass backwards, relentlessly running forward has a few flaws. There was a fair bit of time spent rolling about in the mud before we realized studded boots would improve our performance immeasurably. Gradually, we started to look like more of a team. We celebrated when a stranger ran over to us one day and asked to join in, “with the game of touch” priding ourselves on the fact that at least that meant we were recognizably playing some form of rugby.

I doubt the regular Dayshape office-goers were enthused by the sight of the ten of us regularly traipsing in our muddy boots, or loudly playing, “A Beginner’s Guide to Touch Rugby” on the kitchen TV. However to their credit, the support we received from the rest of the team was unwavering. We went into the tournament on February 28th, 2024 with almost £1500 raised between us and the donations from the Dayshape team made up the bulk of that. It meant a lot to me to see the generosity of my colleagues in action.


On tournament day, there was a fair bit of apprehension showing on the faces of my lovely teammates. It transpired that the promise of a rugby tournament had attracted the crème de la crème rugby players of the Edinburgh corporate world. Although, in retrospect, I’m not quite sure why that was a surprise to us! With the sudden threat of opponents (literally) looming over us, our training sessions on the Meadows and our lack of experience started to feel like a bit of a liability rather than a valiant attempt at team bonding and raising cash for charity.

Nevertheless, we persevered. Touch rugby had much more of a flavor of the full contact variety than I had bargained for, but perhaps that’s inevitable in sport which requires you to run at the other team at full speed until you get physically stopped in your tracks. We played the pool games to find a group of similarly matched teams to compete against in the play-offs (read: this involved desperately trying to find a league which didn’t include too many ex-pro or club rugby players). Thankfully, we found it, and with a play-off against the notorious VMWARE Vipers, we came away victorious with a trophy to boot!

With an extra £100 won for the charity pot, our total stands at an amazing £1810 for Maggie’s. I am incredibly proud of the effort that went into raising this much money from our small team – it’s far more than I thought we’d manage and makes me super happy knowing what a difference it will make.

Post-match analysis

So, what’s the takeaway? I think we already knew that we have great people here at Dayshape, we deliver great work and we believe in our vision. Yes, team dynamics in a rapidly growing, fast-paced company aren’t always easy and the rate of change gives us new tests on an almost daily basis. However, what’s really transpired is that when presented with a challenge, our team can really come together, step up, and triumph.

If you’d like to donate to Maggie’s, you can still by visiting our fundraising page.

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