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History of OGI


OGI had reached a crossroads; The committee had resigned, competitor numbers were falling and funds were dwindling, something had to be done Fortunately for OGI, there was a group of people who were not prepared to let this happen and, by the close of 1998, a new committee, tasked with taking OGI into the 21st century, was formed.

Mike Viglione, Luciana Timanti, Mariella Mansi, Anthony Manzi, Mauro Inzani, the indomitable Maria Tozzi, not to mention that stalwart of OGI, Theresa Morena, to name a few, who took up the baton and ran with it.

With Mike Viglione at the helm, they set about organising the next games with a determination, which put pay to any thoughts that these rookies might fail. Firstly, with the help of The Valtaro Committee, they secured sponsorship from Cariparma. And, in 2000 they delivered a well run games which saw a resurgent Finchley, led by the charismatic and passionate Gaetano, battle it out with the defending champions St. Peter’s. It was a classic OGI with St. Peter’s holding them off to retain the title, with Arrotini also retaining The Les Rickard Cup and Stanmore & Hendon winning The Sportsmanship Trophy.

The 2002 games was another titanic battle between St. Peter’s, Finchley & Southgate. However, the cadre of talent within St. Peter’s ranks was starting to fade and their attempt to retain the title stuttered and faltered during the second day. This left Finchley and Southgate to slug it out with Finchley eventually being crowned champions. Arrotini also retained The Les Rickard Cup for a record breaking third time and Harrow & Wembley won The Sportsmanship Trophy. Unfortunately, it was to be the last year that we would see Arrotini, one of OGI’s founder teams and the smallest team ever to win the Winners Shield, compete in OGI.

The mighty Finchley cruised to their second title in 2004, with Stanmore & Hendon winning The Les Rickard Cup. However, what made 2004 special, was that for the first time in it’s history, a team from Italy competed in OGI. Oratorio Regina Pacis was only small team of around 20 competitors but they proved a real hit. Enthusiastic and honoured to be taking part, they threw themselves into the competition with gusto and vigour and would be awarded The Sportsmanship Trophy. Sadly this year also saw the demise of The Harrow & Wembley Team..

2006 saw Southgate give Finchley a good run for their money but the Finchley Juggernaut eventually triumphed with them winning their third consecutive title and Oratorio, who were making their second appearance, winning The Les Rickard Cup and Stanmore & Hendon being awarded The Sportsmanship Trophy.

For 2006, Oratorio merged with St. Peter’s and Southgate finally rested the title away from Finchley and were crowned champions, for the second time in their history. Finchley would win The Les Rickard Cup for the first time and Stanmore and Hendon retained The Sportsmanship Trophy.

2010 saw Southgate retain the winners shield with a then record haul of Gold Medals, with Finchley retaining The Les Rickard Cup. A S Londra Sud also made their first appearance in OGI this year. Led by Sandro and Nadia Lunghi, they only had around 35 competitors and were unlikely to win but they had some very good athletes and they made such a good impression that they were awarded The Sportsmanship Trophy. This year would also be the last time that the OGI was held at the New River Stadium. And, with the first decade of the century coming to an end, we would also see major changes occur to the OGI committee.

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