Fijians Help In Lifting Rugby To New 7S Heaven
Fiji will be elevated to a new status as a country and as a rugby nation provided we maintain our champion status in the shorter form of the sport post Rio 2016.
The impact of rugby union’s inclusion in this year’s Olympics in Brazil will have a greater impact on the game than last year’s World Cup in England. And leading the race for the second year-in-a row in the World Sevens Series, Fiji will be elevated to a new status as a country and as a rugby nation provided we maintain our champion status in the shorter form of the sport post Rio 2016. That is one of the conclusions made in The Future
of Rugby, a report commissioned by HSBC- sponsor of the World Sevens Series- to look at the difference that sevens, will have in the next decade.
The report estimates that since rugby union’s return to the Olympics was announced in 2009, £20m (FJ$60.61m) has been invested in the sport by national Olympic committees. And there is no doubt that Olympics will transform the image of rugby to a new dimension and countries will start to take the sport more seriously – and funding and Government support will increase. And we should be proud of taking a lead role in making the 7s rugby popular over the years. It’s seldom done, but we made the world take notice by declaring Public Holiday to celebrate our 7s victories on the global stage. It first started in the 1990’s and it’s becoming an ongoing trend. Sevens rugby legend Waisale Serevi made special reference to the Fijians’ obsession with the sport when he campaigned for 7s inclusion in the global showpiece, on behalf of World Rugby, to the International Olympic Committee in Singapore in 2009. With the extra push from World Rugby promoting the success of the World Sevens Series, the IOC took notice and voted on 7s rugby inclusion in the Olympics.