This weekend marks the
beginning of the much-awaited World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco, with three
African nations representing the continent on the big sporting stage.
Twelve women’s and ten men’s teams will be competing in a
round-robin this weekend to secure their spot in the world’s biggest sporting
event, the Olympics to be being held in Tokyo from 26th to 31st July.
The women’s competition will feature Argentina, Colombia,
France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea,
Russia, Samoa, and Tunisia.
While the men’s
tournament will involve Chile, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico,
Samoa, Tonga, and Zimbabwe.
The men’s tournament
kicked off on Friday with Zimbabwe playing against Mexico, where the men played
a brilliant defense game and managed to score 3 tries. With a win of 21 – 0.
Setting the benchmark for the rest of their games.
Leading the pack for
Africa, the Tunisian Women’s World Rugby Sevens team will be playing against
Papua New Guinea at 14:08 hours (Local Monaco Time) tomorrow while Madagascar
is set to compete against Hong Kong later that evening at 19:11 hours (Local
Speaking on the
occasion, Paula Lanco – President of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee,
remarks, “This weekend is going to be a powerful punch of excitement and
emotions, we are looking forward to some free-flowing Rugby with many great
tries that will make audiences erupt and roar. But more importantly, the
women’s tournament is not only a means of entertainment and pride but also an
opportunity to inspire millions of women especially girls around the globe to
pursue their dreams, fight for equality, and to believe that anything can be
achieved with hard work, patience, and perseverance.”
“This is a remarkable
moment in history that has the potential to ignite the imagination of our
future generations. Here’s wishing all the teams all the good luck they need;
we absolutely cannot wait to find out which of the two women’s teams will make
it to Tokyo this year.”
With their sight set on
Olympic glory, the respective captains from Madagascar, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe
teams remain enthused and highly hopeful.
The women’s tournament
will be particularly enthralling as two of the twelve women’s squads that have
arrived in Monaco will be securing their admission into the Olympics club,
thereby lending both teams from Africa –Tunisia and Madagascar –a chance to be part
of the global stage and spotlight at the Olympics.
With 5,000 worldwide
fans watching the tournament live from the stadium, millions are anticipated to
tune in from their homes on digital devices to watch history being made over
the weekend. Some viewers from certain locations across the world can access
live telecasts of the games, however, the energy, excitement, joy, and thrill
will be experienced by all audiences alike.
“The sport of Rugby as
thrill-seeking as it is, carries along with it a rich history, heritage, and
legacy of undeniable sportsmanship. Outstanding women and men from different
parts of Africa have come together to fight for one goal and one trophy. I am
keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that this hard work is paid off and we see
a flag from the African continent rise in the sky at the Olympics in Tokyo,
Japan. My best wishes are with all the African teams and players.” says Khaled
Babbou – President of Rugby Africa.
Women’s Ruby in Africa
On the African
continent, women’s rugby has seen tremendous growth. In the last decade, it
increased from 50 000 female players in 2012 to over 260 000 in 2018 and 350
000 in 2020.
For this tremendous
growth to continue, strong leadership in women’s rugby needs to continue, the
Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship is one of the tools that will enable
Africa will also be well
represented when South Africa participates in the next rugby World Cup women in
New Zealand in 2022 and Kenya in the Olympic Games in 2021.
Distributed by APO Group
on behalf of Rugby Africa.