Guyana’s participation in the upcoming Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens championships in Mexico later this month hangs in the balance according to the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU).
The GRFU said it is depending on the government for some assistance to offset its shortfall of around seven million dollars but there seems to a lot of bureaucratic run-around.
According to the GRFU, the union spoke with Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, a few months ago and was told that the National Sports Commission (NSC) had no money.
“We then met with the Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. Norton, who explained that the ministry had no money also and then directed us towards the Minister of Natural Resources who in turn has stated that the papers are with his Permanent Secretary and there it lies to date,” a GRFU official told Stabroek Sports yesterday.
The official said that time was running out.
“With just a week remaining, and having committed all of our resources at hand including subsidies from our Regional Body (USD 22,900), GOA (GUY 1,000,000),(Beharry’s G$750,000) we still have a deficit of some G$6.9m at this time of writing. We are aggressively approaching other business places during this week but essentially we need government to be onboard with at least a G$5m grant,” the GRFU official added.
The GRFU on Saturday shortlisted a male and female 15-member squad from which the final 12-member teams will be chosen this Friday.
The teams are earmarked to depart Guyana November 20 and 21 pending the release of funds from the government, for Mexico.
Guyana are the defending men’s champions with the women’s team ranked No. 4 behind Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Jamaica.
“Our High Performance exploits speak for themselves. This is the big moment. USA and Canada have already qualified and so the road is easier a chance in a lifetime,” the GRFU official stated.
This year’s RAN Sevens will be the 18th annual Rugby Sevens championships organized by Rugby Americas North and it will be held in Campo Marte, Mexico City.
Guyana men’s team has won the annual tournament on eight occasions.
This year’s championships has taken on added significance in that it also serves as qualifiers for the 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games (for the highest placing Commonwealth of Nations Member); the 2018 XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games (for the top four Central American and Caribbean Members); the 2018 World Cup Sevens Championships (for the highest placing North American member joining Canada and USA as the three representatives for the region); the Hong Kong Sevens Men’s tournament (for the top two members from the RAN Membership alongside USA and Canada) and for the women, the Atlanta Sevens women’s leg of the World Series Sevens tournament (for the highest placing RAN Member alongside the USA and Canada).
The GRFU official said the union was worried that such a great opportunity for the national teams might be missed if they do not get the necessary support from the government.
The 15-member men’s team named Saturday reads:- Dwayne Schroeder (Captain), Avery Corbin, Patrick King, Richard Staglon, Ronald Mayers, Dominic Lespierre, Claudius Butts, Lance Adonis, Rondell Mc Arthur, Jamal Angus, Rickford Cummings, Peabo Hamilton, Ryan Gonsalves, Godfrey Broomes and Vallon Adams.
Officials: – John Lewis, Manager, Laurence Adonis, Coach, Phillip Browne, Physio and Angus Thompson Analyst/Assistant Coach (Australia Based)
The women’s team from which the final 12 will be selected reads :- Collette Hope,(Captain), Latoya Cordis, Alisha Mentore, Cleotta Dublin, Helen Jervis, Sabola Gray, Cindy Fraser, Tricia Munroe, Sasha James, Shonette Mc Farlane, Abioce Heywood, Natasha Andrews, M. Browne, Kean Andrews and Mandy Browne.
Officials: – Petal Adams, Manager, Theodore Henry, Coach and Abiola James, physiotherapist.