By Rawle Welch
“Come out and join us at the Stadium, come out and support our teams, they’ve worked very hard and deserve your support,” was the pressing appeal made by President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Christopher ‘Kit’ Nascimento to all Guyanese, during a press conference which was held in the Boardroom of Banks DIH Ltd, Thirst Park yesterday.
The occasion which was held to officially announce Banks DIH Ltd involvement under its Coca-Cola Brand in the upcoming CAC Sevens and NACRA Championships also had in attendance the Company’s Sales and Marketing Executive Carlton Joao, members of the Organising Committee for the three tournaments Gem Madhoo-Nascimento, Roxanne Alleyne, Men’s Team Manager Robin Roberts, Secretary of the Rugby Referees Union Terrence Grant, Women’s Head Coach Alton Agard, Men’s Head Coach Theodore Henry and members of the two national squads.
Nascimento in his remarks revealed that the upcoming activities will involve three tournaments beginning with the CAC Championship which runs from July 24-25 to be followed by the NACRA Women’s from July 26-27 with the Men’s Competition closing things off from July 29-30.
According to Nascimento, it will mark the first time that the sport will be played at the National Stadium and the first time that an event in the CAC Games will be held in the Caribbean.
“All together there will be 13 Men’s teams and 6 Women’s Teams participating in the competitions and it is our intention to televise the events, while NCN will be broadcasting and giving full coverage of all the games,” Nascimento disclosed.
He said that the event has already invited considerable international attention, but more importantly is the fact that Guyana will be defending both of their regional titles in front of a Guyanese audience.
The Men’s team have won the title on four consecutive occasions without losing a single game, while the Women’s have done so twice and they both are being presented with the opportunity to successfully defend it in front of this nation.
Nascimento reminded those present that the current Men’s squad is a world class one, having played at the highest level against some of the best teams in the world at the IRB International Sevens Series including top ten rated France who they drew 12-12 with after enjoying a 7-point lead with 30 seconds left in the game, before a defensive error allowed the opposition to draw level.
“We are good, we’ve risen above the rest of the Caribbean and we will demonstrate that during the upcoming championships,” the GRFU President warned.
He added that the GRFU could not do it alone, stating that because all three tournaments are being run almost simultaneously, it was imperative that they partner with the Government and the GOA to host such an enormous undertaking which cost in the vicinity of US$50,000.
“The three parties have been working together for the past four months to put together the events along with over 100 volunteers who’ve all had prior experience due to the staging of Cricket World Cup not so long ago,” Nascimento informed.
He stated that it is tremendously important that Banks DIH is on board and they’ve committed to providing all the food, beverages, water and ice for all the teams during all three tournaments.
“This contribution by Banks DIH is enormous and I’m extremely pleased to have them on board with us,” Nascimento mentioned.
Nascimento further informed that the Company will also be hosting the Awards Dinner at the end of the CAC Championships.
GOA, Scotia Bank and Sterling Products have already consented to host the Welcoming Dinner at the Georgetown Club.
Joao speaking on behalf of the Company said that they’ve had held several Meetings with the Organising Committee and were pleased with the outcome, adding that the planning and performance was exemplary and that would have swayed the entity’s decision to support the event in its favour.
“This is something that is brand new to us and it is simply not an easy undertaking, having to host three major events almost simultaneously,” Joao said.
He also recognised Coca-Cola whose contributions to the CAC Games as a whole are quite enormous.
“Banks DIH and Coca-Cola are indeed happy to be associated with the tournaments and we will be taking care of all the catering needs through our recently opened OMG outlet as well as the beverages.”
He added that what they would like to see in return for their support is that all three events are successful, especially for the Guyana teams and a full Stadium.
“Rugby is an exciting game and is new to us so it is an opportunity to see it showcased at its best and all Guyanese come out to support our teams,” Joao announced.
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