WINDHOEK, 24 APR – Preparations for the eighth edition of the World University Rugby Sevens Championship, which will be hosted in Swakopmund, are at an advanced stage.
Werner Jeffery, the chairperson of the local organising committee of the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (Tisan), in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday said with two months to go, everything is progressing well preparation wise.
“So far, 20 teams have indicated their wish to participate in the tournament from the men’s side, while 12 have indicated their interest from the women’s side. The games will be played at the Swakopmund Stadium,” he said.
Tisan has already conducted two trials for the teams and one more is due soon and will focus mostly on players playing outside Namibia.
Jeffery said they are struggling to find women players, hence the decision to request the International University Sports Federation (Fisu) to allow them to use the national team for this tournament.
The games will be hosted by Tisan on behalf of Fisu.
These will be the first World Universities Rugby Sevens Championship to be hosted after rugby sevens’ addition to the Olympics.
The games will take place from 12 to 14 July 2018 and over 300 players are expected to participate.
The last games were held in Swansea, Wales in 2016, when Namibia beat Italy in the Plate Final to finish with a fifth position ranking.
According to Jeffery, Namibia wants to challenge for the main prize despite the fact that most players have now moved on to the national team, while others have secured contracts overseas.
He called on the corporate world to come on board and support the event as it plays a huge role in developing rugby players.
Jeffery also announced that Air Namibia has come on board as sponsors and will provide affordable rates for European and African student participants and fans alike.