Jamaica Rugby Sevens desperate for support as World Cup looms

By July 05, 2018
Jamaica Rugby Sevens team manager Cherine Richards,with Mikel Facey (left), Owen Linton, Renardo Richards (right). Jamaica Rugby Sevens team manager Cherine Richards,with Mikel Facey (left), Owen Linton, Renardo Richards (right).

As Jamaica continues to prepare for the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco later this month, the team is desperately in need of support which, so far, has remained elusive.

 Jamaica created history when they won the 2017 RAN Sevens in November 2017 to become the first Caribbean team ever to qualify for the World Rugby Sevens. However, even though many things have gone smoothly in terms of their world cup preparation, the team is in desperate need of other forms of support. Other than funding provided by the Jamaica Olympic Association and the Sports Development Foundation, the team has largely depended on out-of-pocket spending from the players themselves.

“The boys do what they can and the union does what it can to help out Team Jamaica,” said Technical Director Bruce Martin. “Funding is our big issue to put out the right team, the right people, the right preparation nutrition-wise, transportation, football cleats. There is so much to it as a world cup team that we lack but the boys are full of pride and they have a fighting spirit. They are like the Reggae Boyz story, without the funding.”

According to team manager, Cherine Richards, the players need new cleats, socks, food, taping and strapping, and, even a training venue as the practice sessions are tearing the field they currently use at St. George’s College in Kingston.

She said she has met with a number of retail sports establishments but so far she has had no luck. Richards also revealed that they need money to hire a certified Level 2 physiotherapist as well as money for airfare for two players that have been added to the squad. One of those players is Olympian Warren Weir, who has been selected to play at the CAC Games in Colombia and who the management would like to add to the World Cup roster.

There is also a need for hydration and additional nutritional support.

Meantime, Martin said that notwithstanding the challenges, preparation has been going fairly well and the players are in good spirits. The team, he said, has been split into three groups. Some players are preparing in England while there is another group in the United States while a third group has been preparing in Jamaica.

The three groups will eventually meet in San Francisco in time for the World Cup.

Mikel Facey, the captain of the under 19 team left Jamaica Thursday to play in the RAN Spur 15 after which he will join the World Cup team. He will be the youngest player in the tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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