Dove Men+Care Portugal Rugby Youth Festival: a 15th anniversary to remember

Last weekend, the Lisbon University Stadium was buzzing with excitement as the 15th edition of Dove Men+Care Portugal Rugby Youth Festival took place. This was a two-day event that saw 95 teams and 2800 athletes gather to compete in 300 matches, spread out across seven pitches.

The group stage matches happened on Saturday, while Sunday was reserved for knockout matches. The festival provided visitors with more than just rugby matches, as there was an F&B area where they could rest, eat, and have a drink. There was also live music and a fun zone dedicated to the younger ones. As for the coaches, had an exclusive area dedicated to them, to chill and regain strength.

This rugby global party was sponsored by noteworthy brands, including Dove Men + Care, Santander Portugal, Joaquim Chaves Saúde, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, and with co-organization of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, all of which had its unique activation to engage with attendants and make the festival experience more memorable.

Dove Men + Care was the title sponsor and had branding all over the facilities, including the 3D lettering at the entrance portico. The brand also provided Dove kits as prizes for the winners and had the name of the main field where U19 and the finals took place. And, of course, the 1st place awards for the Boys U13, Girls U15, Boys U15, Boys U17, Girls U19, and Boys U19 were named Dove Men + Care cups.

Near the exhibitors' area, you could take pictures and wear a wolf (the symbol of the national team) mask, a brand activation taken place by Santander Portugal. This financial institution also had the name of the U15 field and the best player prizes given to an athlete of each winning team. Santander Portugal had a very strong presence throughout the facilities.  

Joaquim Chaves Saúde (JCS) had a mascot that wandered around the main corridor and interacted with visitors, especially kids. You could also test your rugby skills in a game consisting of throwing a ball into one of several holes, with prizes such as the event’s official rugby ball. JCS had the name on another U15 field and on several prizes given to several classifications and was in charge of the event's medical and physio team.

Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa provided the climbing/rappel tower at the facilities' entrance, as well as a kids bungee jump, and distributed sun hats with their logo. You could see their branding all over the facilities. Their name was on the U17 field and in the Fairplay prize given to CDUP, in homage to João Mota, a CDUP athlete who tragically passed away that weekend.

Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, as co-organizer, provided the two porticos in the main corridor, had the name on the U13 field, and had branding all over the facilities and honor field.

The winners of Dove Men + Care Portugal Rugby Youth Festival 2023 of the various categories were: RC Eagles (boys U13), Dutch Girls (girls U15), CDUL (boys U15), Dutchies (girls U19), Lycée Bellevue (boys U17), and GD Direito (boys U19). Take a look at all match results. 

The Dove Men + Care Portugal Rugby Youth Festival proved once again to be a thrilling occasion that drew rugby aficionados from 12 different countries. This festival was a grand celebration with numerous matches and teams, and a strong social and entertainment strand that left a lasting impression on everyone who attended.

Looking forward, given the tremendous success of this year's event, we anticipate an even more magnificent turnout next year. As the festival continues to grow each year, it's become a premier destination for rugby lovers worldwide, and we expect it to continue to be so in the future.