The Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) will be sending a male and a female rugby team to the US to compete in the NACRA Olympic Qualifier Sevens in June with the aim of clinching a 2016 Olympic berth.
According to a press release from the union, the date and venue of the championships are now confirmed and the union will be pulling out all the stops to ensure the local ruggers qualify for the Rio Games. The release states that the Rio 2016 NACRA Olympic Qualifier Sevens will be hosted by the Triangle Sports Commission on June 13-14, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
Guyana Men’s National Sevens Team won the NACRA Sevens Championships in Mexico in December and will be participating in the NACRA Olympic Qualifier. Guyana’s National Women’s Sevens Team, which has not contested the NACRA Sevens Championships since 2011, when they were knocked out in the quarter finals, were champions for the previous three years in succession, will return to contest the Olympic Qualifier this year.
The Triangle Sports Commission, based in Cary, North Carolina, is one of only 10 United States Olympic Committee Community Olympic Partner organizations, and, as such, has a significant focus on supporting major Olympic and amateur sports events and activities.
“To be able to host this international qualifying tournament for next year’s Rio Olympic Games is quite a coup for the region,” said Hill Carrow, CEO of the Triangle Sports Commission. “It gives us the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of Olympic participation and competition with one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
The initial round of qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games – the first Olympiad to include Rugby Sevens on the Olympic Games Program – will result from the 2014-15 World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series (men’s) and 2014-15 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.
The top four teams from each Series will qualify for the Olympics, in addition to Brazil, which automatically qualifies as the host country.
The United States and Canada’s Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens National Teams remain in contention to qualify for Rio 2016 in their respective HSBC Sevens World Series. Should the United States and Canada fail to qualify in the top four teams, they will compete against Mexico and the Caribbean teams, including Guyana, in the NACRA Sevens in June.
The top finisher from both the men’s and women’s bracket will join the Series qualifiers on their way to the Olympics.
WakeMed Soccer Park, venue for the NACRA Olympic Qualifier, is home to the North American Soccer League’s Carolina Railhawks. The 150-acre complex in Cary, N.C., contains a 10,000-seat natural grass stadium with two additional championship fields, and multiple practice fields on site.
The full slate of teams competing in the NACRA Sevens tournament, as well as ticketing information for the June 13-14 event, will be released in due course.