Representatives of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were today welcomed by senior members of the International Rugby Board at the HSBC Sevens World Series event in Wellington, New Zealand.
Sports Facilities Architecture Specialist, Gustavo Nascimento and Head of Sport Policy and Operations, Rodrigo Garcia, are visiting the event as part of the planning process for Rugby Sevens’ debut at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. They were greeted by IRB President Bernard Lapasset, Secretary General Mike Miller and Vice President Bill Beaumont.
The visiting members will be focusing on the technical requirements of Rugby Sevens, including the operational needs and optimum venue dynamics and design configuration. The delegation will observe all aspects of the operational running of a tournament from team services, match management and officiating to host broadcaster and media management systems. They will also attend a series of meetings with the IRB's Sevens Manager Beth Coalter.
The visit highlights the IRB and Rio 2016’s collaborative approach and commitment to delivering a world class Rugby Sevens tournament and growing the sport around the world and builds upon the extremely productive meetings held in Rio last year.
Bernard Lapasset, IRB President, said: “This visit represents another important landmark along the way to Rugby Sevens’ Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and underscores our strong working relationship with the 2016 Organising Committee.”
“We are looking forward to sharing our operational knowledge with Gustavo and Rodrigo to accelerate the detailed planning and preparation process. It is very clear that both parties share the same vision and commitment to making Rugby Sevens at the 2016 Olympic Games a stand out event.”
Rodrigo Garcia, Head of Sport Policy and Operations, Rio 2016, said: “It is crucial for Rio 2016 to understand the infrastructural and logistical requirements to cater for all stakeholders involved in a Rugby Sevens competition. It will be a priceless opportunity to discuss operational routine and design related challenges and we would like to thank the IRB for inviting us to what will certainly be a very fruitful visit.”
Since Rugby Sevens was voted onto the Olympic Games programme in 2009, the IRB has been driving forward a new Sevens Strategic Plan that will ensure that its Olympic debut is not only successful, but provides the blueprint for the continued growth of the sport around the world through a process of development initiatives and regional tournaments, including Olympic Games qualification.
The excitement within the Rugby family is building and already a number of National Federations are experiencing the benefits of inclusion, establishing relationships with their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and widening the scope of Rugby on the national school curriculum.
The NZI Sevens in Wellington, from February 4-5, is one of eight HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments. It will be followed by the USA Sevens, in Las Vegas on February 12-13.
Player Quotes of Support
“More than anything, Sevens embodies the Olympic ideals of camaraderie, fair play and respect on and off the field of play.” – Shane Williams, Wales
“You play sport at the highest level to challenge yourself to be the best that you can possibly be and to compete with the best from all over the world, and what better stage to do that on than at the Olympics?” – Sue Day, England
“Going to the Commonwealth Games was amazing and to have the chance to go to the Olympics would be right up there with anything you could possibly dream of doing in sport.” – Tamati Ellison, New Zealand
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