Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony speaking with the national rugby squad in his office early yesterday morning shortly before they departed for a five-day Camp in Barbados called on them to continue their winning streak at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
Dr. Anthony, who along with Permanent Secretary attached to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport Alfred King, Chef-de-Mission Garfield Wiltshire were on hand to bid the team farewell told then how happy the Ministry was to partner with the CAC and NACRA champions and the Guyana Rugby Football Union as a whole.
“We are pleased to offer our support to the Union as they go forward to participate in the Commonwealth Games and I want to wish the team well on behalf of the Government and the entire nation,” Dr. Anthony told the players and President of the Union Christopher ‘Kit’ Nascimento.
According to the Minister, rugby is special, especially in light of its success which dates back to over five years ago.
He added that he was assured that the team is quite fit and even though most of their opponents are among the best teams in the world and could provide tough competition for them, he still expects some spirited performances during their matches.
The Minister also recognised that Guyana will be sending a large contingent of athletes to the Games and he is anticipating good results form the other disciplines as well.
The Government of Guyana had pledged over $5million to the Union.
Nascimento in his response thanked the minister for his support, adding that they know that they are going forward with the full support of the Government of Guyana and the nation.
He disclosed that there were some initial setbacks related to the non-issuance of visas for two players, but one has been sorted out and will travel sometime in the coming week, while the other will have to travel directly to the Games Village via the USA.
The player who was not granted a UK visa was Kevin McKenzie and according to Nascimento that was unfortunate since he is rated as one of the best players on the squad.
Speaking about the opposition, Nascimento stated that out of the 16 teams slated to participate in the competition, 8 are among the very best Sevens teams in the world and only Canada like Guyana will be appearing for the first time.
He also informed that President Bharrat Jagdeo had called him to express best wishes to the team and the entire fraternity.
The full team is: Claudius Butts (Captain), Theodore Henry, K. McKenzie, Avery Corbin, Dane Parks, Walter George, Richard Staglon, Ronald Mayers, Albert LaRose, Dominic Lespierre, Dwayne Schroeder and Christopher Singh.
The Technical Director is Joe Whipple, Physiotherapist- Martin Varga and Manager Christopher ‘Kit’ Nascimento.
The entire team and media enjoyed breakfast courtesy of the Minister.
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