All rugby fans will know that Sam Warburton, esteemed Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff Blues player, has been a significant force within the WRU for many years now, having achieved 79 Test caps in his career. In this knowledge, The Sam Warburton Testimonial Committee was formed and his testimonial year began. He announced his retirement last summer, the news of which was released during the course of his testimonial year. As recognition of his commitment and outstanding career in the WRU, there has been a series of bespoke events to celebrate Sam Warburton and his extensive efforts in rugby for his Club and his Country.
The NSPCC, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, Velindre Cancer Care and Demelza Hospice are the charities who will benefit from these events.
As ongoing partners and official sponsors of Cardiff Blues, we were more than happy to be one of the Official Suppliers, responsible for the event production for the majority of the testimonial events. We have worked with Engage Sport across the year to help deliver the various events.
We are writing this blog in anticipation for Thursday’s event. Not only will it be Sam’s final Testimonial Dinner, it is also taking place just two days before the big Wales v England clash of the Six Nations. Four members of the Genero team will be attending the dinner; it will be an honour to spend an evening in the company of Sam Warburton. It will be the perfect occasion to wish the rugby legend a true Welsh send off, taking place in the Cardiff Arms Park Marquee with the Welsh Guard treating the audience to a special performance.
The testimonial year traditionally began with a spectacular launch event, which brought an excitement for the rest of the upcoming events throughout the year. The celebrations were continued in March, with a black-tie dinner taking place at the beautiful Hurlingham Club in London, with a James Bond and Rugby theme. Guests, including personalities such as Prince William, Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, were dressed for the occasion. With stellar entertainment from West End performers alongside the Band of the Welsh Guards, the evening was memorable for all.
The next event was the Captain’s Dinner, which took place in June, including a Q&A with Sam, Martyn Williams, Ieuan Evans and Rob Howley. The Cardiff and Vale Collage was a unique location for the event and was certainly a different location for Genero to prepare. We embraced this change and successfully delivered a stage, screens, audio visual equipment along with sound and lighting equipment, all in order to create an all singing, all dancing environment.
There was a beautiful Gala Dinner in Cardiff City Hall, in October. This is a venue we’ve worked with many times before for various different events, so it was exciting to deck it out to our best ability for Sam! We put together a set, stage and backdrop, once again incorporating in audio visual elements, with screens, lighting and sound to create an immersive ambiance for the evening. The evening was filled with entertainment, including a live performance from Lucie Jones accompanied by the fantastic Welsh Guards and then the cast of the Jersey Boys, who really got the crowd involved.
While not part of Sam’s testimonial year, today we saw the Thank You Lunch, again hosted by Engage Sport. The lunch took place in Cardiff Castle in the Undercroft Room, which boasts beautiful arching ceilings as a unique feature. The guests were dazzled by a performer from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The event pleased everyone which made it very successful.
We want to wish Sam a happy retirement and say a HUGE thank you for all of his outstanding work for his Club and Country; his performances will go down in history.