– to use it as a boost for the New Year
By Rawle Welch
In just four short years, the University of Guyana rugby team has made immense strides
thanks to the expertise of Head Coach Laurence Adonis combined with the support of the institution’s administration.
Over the period, the team more familiarly referred to as the ‘Wolves’ have moved from a tame pack of aspiring players to a unit of hungry players eager to devour all before them. Over the weekend the team participated in the Annual Tobago Sevens Tournament in the Twin Island Republic and carted off the Calabash Cup, whilst finishing third overall in the Championship to take top honours among Caribbean teams.
The Academics after starting slowly on opening day rebounded on the final day to score some impressive victories to capture the Cup. Speaking with Adonis at the Campus shortly after the team returned yesterday morning, he told this newspaper that the year 2014 has seen them achieve most if the goals that they set out to accomplish at the start of the year.
“We achieved most of our goals that we set ourselves for 2014 we got to every final in all competitions that we competed winning two out of five, while finishing runner-up on the other occasions,” Adonis reflected.
According to the former national junior team Head Coach, the team is moving in the right direction and he expects a number of the players to be knocking on the door for national selection.
“We are hoping to get some more players into the national team and we will continue to make noise and I’m hoping that the selection panel takes notice of our achievements and opens the door to include some more of our players.”
Adonis said he believes that the time has come for better facilities and improved funding to be provided to get Guyana on par with the rest of the world in the sport. He also mentioned the importance of teams getting the right amount of exposure to be able to compete with the other international teams.
Captain of the team Rondell McArthur, a player who came through the junior ranks was high in praise of the team’s performance, adding that the victory was a sweet one, especially since it clearly emphasized the upward mobility that the team has made over the past three years.
“We’ve been participating in this tournament for the past three years and the first year we finished 12th, but returned last year and ended 4th so to win it this year just shows how hard working and dedicated we’ve been through the period,” McArthur stated.
He revealed the mission was to go there and improve their standard of play and ranking and they managed to do just that. Asked about the overall expectation of teams coming from Guyana, especially in light of the national side’s historic year winning both the NACRA 15’s and 7’s titles, McArthur said Guyanese teams now have a reputation to uphold among Caribbean nations,
adding that they are now seen as the symbol of regional representation against more established teams and countries. He said they intend to use the victory as a boost heading into the New Year.
Meanwhile, Sports Co-ordinator of UG Lavern Fraser, who also acted as Manager asked to describe the team’s success said it was the perfect compensation for the institution, especially those who believed in the players and their abilities.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the team on their outstanding performance, informing that to get the team to the event the first year was a real challenge, but fortunately despite those challenges the Registrar understood and still saw it fit to add his support for them to go and compete and this has continued for the past three years,” Fraser said.
The former national Netball and Basketball player who possesses a wealth of experience in Sport Administration expressed the opinion that being the top academic institution in the country they should be excelling in every aspect of sport so to have the support of the administration is a feature she would like to recognize.
Players and teams from some of the top rugby nations such as England, Australia, Canada, USA, Fiji, Ireland and the Czech Republic participated in the tournament.
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