City in push to host IRB Sevens Se­ries

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE CITY of Cape Town has thrown its weight be­hind Western Prov­ince Rugby’s bid to host the IRB Sevens World Se­ries at Cape Town Sta­dium.

“We sup­port WP Rugby in their bid to bring the IRB Sevens World Se­ries to Cape Town, as it is in line with our strat­egy of pro­mot­ing Cape Town as a world-class sports des­ti­na­tion, and we also know how much Capetonians love their rugby,” the city’s mayor Dan Plato said yes­ter­day.

“Our suc­cess as a host city for the 2010 Fifa World Cup has given us con­fi­dence that we can not only host a suc­cess­ful Sevens Se­ries, but that we of­fer fans a unique Cape Town ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“We urge Capetonians to get be­hind WP Rugby and sup­port them in their bid to bring us the Sevens Se­ries.”

Sevens rugby has been part of the cal­en­dar in Ge­orge for nearly a decade.

How­ever, the SA Rugby Union’s con­tract with the In­ter na­tional Rugby Board comes to an end af­ter the South African leg of the Sevens be­ing hosted at Outeni­qua Park, in Ge­orge, this week­end.

Saru has de­cided to in­vite all its mem­ber unions to sub­mit bids to host the event for the next five years, which means Ge­orge could lose out to cen­tres such as Cape Town, Port El­iz­a­beth or Rusten­burg.

The City of Cape Town said it would for mally sup­port the WP Rugby bid and was com­mit­ted to pro­vide fund­ing and mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices for the host­ing of the tour­na­ment.

“From hum­ble be­gin­nings, the IRB Sevens World Se­ries has grown to a world­wide phe­nom­e­non now at­tract­ing huge crowds of more than 500 000 peo­ple and a tele­vi­sion au­di­ence in about 140 coun­tries, across six con­ti­nents,” it said.

Host­ing the event would strengthen part­ner­ships be­tween govern­ment de­part­ments, pri­vate and vol­un­tary sec­tors and pro­vide me­dia, and mar­ket­ing and tourism ex­po­sure for the city. It would also en­cour­age par­tic­i­pa­tion in sport, boost devel­op­ment pro­grammes, of­fer job and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and grow the vol­un­teer move­ment and its ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We will en­sure that the Cape Town Sta­dium is filled to ca­pac­ity ev­ery time,” said may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber Brett Her­ron. – Sapa

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