Faced increasingly with the heavy burden of soliciting funds to attend regional tournaments despite an impressive track record, the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) received strong commitments from at least three corporate entities who pledged their support yesterday, during a simple ceremony, at the National Park.
Those commitments came from President of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Jerry Gouveia, GT&T’s Marketing Representative Rhonda Johnson and New GPC’s Representative Trevor Bassoo, who all voiced their entities support to the Union in ensuring that the national Men’s and Women’s teams participate in the North American & Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens Tournament which will be held in Mexico from November 14-15.
Gouveia, speaking on behalf of the Commission disclosed that in his capacity as President, he has been urging members of the entity to come on board and assist in the development of sports.
According to Gouveia, there needs to be dignity in sports, adding that his support to the rugby fraternity is a done deal, while offering one of his business premises as a location to stage a fund raiser to procure funds to offset expenses for travel.
Johnson speaking on behalf of her Company said it is always a pleasure when you see young people occupied in meaningful activities.
She applauded the efforts of the GRFU, which she described as a model sports Body that exhibits good stewardship of its time and financial resources.
She called on the players to work and strive hard for success, giving as an example the exploits of Jamaican Usain Bolt whose success at the Olympics and World Athletics Championships created a rippling effect in the Jamaica camp.
“Success breeds success and if companies see that, they will always want to follow you,” she said.
Bassoo revealed that he had seen most of the players play and was very impressed with what he saw. “My Company is extremely pleased to be contributing to rugby and other sports in Guyana,” he informed. The New GPC Representative promised his Company’s continued support to the sport.
Meanwhile, NACRA President Christopher ‘Kit’ Nascimento pointed out how crucial the support from the business community is, adding that the cost to take some 28 persons to Mexico is somewhere in the vicinity of US$35,000 with some 55% coming from the IRB through NACRA.
He pointed out that the tournament is very important for Guyana’s rugby since it provides a direct pathway to two other major competitions. “The winning Caribbean team will automatically qualify for the Commonwealth Games in India next year as well as the World Sevens Series which will be staged in the USA in February,” Nascimento informed.
He further stated that winning the World Sevens Series is also the conduit for participation at the Olympic Games which the IOC will most likely accept as another addition to the world’s premier sporting spectacle.
“Our Men’s team have won this particular tournament (NACRA) three consecutive times and I can think of no reason why we cannot win once again,” Nascimento felt.
Nascimento continued that the only reason he could think of that could prevent Guyana from defending both titles is if they were not to attend the championships.
Nascimento revealed that Gouveia’s involvement stemmed from a conversation he had with him, telling him about the importance and the need to have the Commission’s support in getting the team to Mexico.
The two teams have commenced preparations sometime now and they are conducting sessions under the guidance of Head Coaches Alton Agard (Women), Laurie Adonis (Men) and Assistant Coach Clinton Clarke.
The Manager of the teams is Robin Roberts.
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