BARBADOS TEAMS WIN CUP AND PLATE AT INAUGURAL BARBADOS MIDLAND RUGBY SEVENS TOURNAMENT
The inaugural Rugby Barbados Midland Rugby Sevens was staged over the weekend of May 31st-June 1st at Sutton Coldfield Rugby Football Club, Birmingham, England. The event, sponsored by co-title sponsors The Tourism Development Corporation and The Barbados Tourism Authority, was appropriately won by a Barbadian team, much to the delight of the members of the local Barbados Association who were there in numbers to support their teams.
Day 2 saw both sides gel together. Flying Fish easily handled Sutton Coldfield, running out winners by a margin of 35-0, and followed this up with two close wins over Cou-Cou to reach the Cup Final against Leicester Lions. Down 17-7 at the half, Flying Fish stepped it up in the second half to win the tournament with a score of 26-17. Cou-Cou bounced back from close losses to Flying Fish and Leicester Lions to win convincingly in the Plate Final with a 24-7 victory over Sutton Coldfield.
Coach Joe Whipple commented, “It was a good weekend from the perspective of the facilities which were first class, to the support from the members of the Barbados Associations, to the response of our players who worked hard all weekend. In terms of play, I thought that all of our players showed they can play a good level of Rugby Sevens. We will build on these performances and I am confident we will continue to improve. Our goal of having a pool of over 20 players is becoming a reality. We will have four new players joining us this weekend for a tournament in Brighton, so it is important that we maintain a high level of consistency.”
The BRFU has launched the Brand Barbados Initiative marketing campaign around the squad’s presence in the UK in order to provide marketing exposure for Barbadian companies and services, with an emphasis on the Barbadian Tourism product. The BTA’s UK office has been liaising with the various Barbados Associations across the UK to ensure that there is a strong Barbadian presence at each of the seven tournaments in which the team will be participating, thus maximizing the marketing impact.