By Floyd Christie
As part of the preparations for the upcoming Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games to be held at the National Stadium on July 24 and 25, the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Rugby Seven’s Club League is scheduled to begin on Saturday at the National Park.
This was disclosed by president of the GRFU, Kit Nascimento in an interview with Stabroek Sports yesterday.
Nascimento stated that the regular club league, which runs for three weeks, should have started two weeks ago, but due to the inclement weather and the condition of the rugby field in the National Park which was prone to flooding, it had to be postponed until Saturday, weather permitting.
“The current condition of the ground is a major handicap,” said Nascimento.
Nascimento said the ground is easily flooded during the rainy weather adding that if the rain persisted the GFRU may have to pursue an alternative location.
In light of the upcoming CAC games, the league will be held in conjunction to the preparations being made by the national rugby squad, who are currently undergoing strength training.
“The squad is currently in training and they will be moving to the field programme on Saturday,” Nascimento stated.
The national squad for the CAC Games will be announced in approximately two weeks time and will be under the management of Sevens Director Mike McCormack and coached by Theodore Henry.
Head Coach of the West Indies Rugby team, Joe Whipple, who served as the Technical Director of the Guyana team that won the Caribbean Championships in Mexico last November, will once again serve as the team’s Technical Director for the CAC Games.
According to Nascimento, Whipple will be making a three-day visit to Guyana… “later in the month” to conduct an intensive review of the team’s preparations. He will also conduct and coordinate practice sessions and fitness programmes for the national squad.
In addition to the team’s training preparations, Nascimento also touched on the financial preparedness of the GRFU for the CAC Games.
When asked about financing from the government and corporate Guyana, Nascimento replied, “We received nothing in terms of cash, but the government has provided the National Stadium at a minimal cost and they have partnered in organizing supporting services such as medical and security services.”
Nascimento said that President Jagdeo, through the Government of Guyana, has donated US $10,000 for the National squad, who are currently the Caribbean champions. This money was given towards preparations for the squad to represent the Caribbean at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in India, in October.
In relation to the corporate community Nascimento emphasized that a number of companies have been approached, but declared.. “GT&T is the only major corporate sponsor.”
The Seven’s League will see matches played each Saturday for a three-week period. It will be contested by three teams, namely the Yamaha Caribs, Pepsi Hornets and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). The league will also include Women’s Sevens matches between Yamaha Caribs and Pepsi Hornets female teams.