Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rugby sets out case for inclusion in Olympics

Today was a big day for the IRB's bid to get rugby back into the Olympics when they formally presented their case to the IOC.

As mentioned before, their proposal is based on sevens rugby, rather than the full game, and would include a women's event. My personal view is that the IOC's acceptance of the IRB's bid would give a totally undeserved seal of approval for the IRB and major Union's levels of "support" for women's rugby, whereas a rejection might just persuade these bodies to join the 21st century. On the other hand, obviously many players of both sexes are excited about the possibility of becoming Olympians, so its not a view that is widely shared. This means you as the bid concerns the 2016 Olympics - its too late for the inclusion of any new sports to 2012 - so probably the players who would benefit most from its inclusion would be currently playing U18 rugby. 

This has come about as a result of the dropping of baseball and softball from the games. Both of these sports are bidding to return, as are four others - golf, squash, roller skating, and karate. This is pretty stiff opposition. Rugby's main "selling point" seems to be the low cost of an event - no extra facilities needed - but the IRB do have a tendency to exagerate their claims about the number of countries where the game is played at a high level.  

Only two of the sports bidding for a place in the games can "win" - and there is no guarantee that any will be chosen (none received enough votes last time around). Looking at the coverage beyond the rugby media I suspect that the favourites may be baseball and softball - both because the reasons for their rejection seem to have been rather dodgy, and also because a leading bidder for the 2016 games is Chicago. Squash has also spent many years building support, and roller skating would appeal to the IRB's wish to attract a "youth" audience (and a whole new sponsorship stream). In the end, whether you support rugby's bid or not, you have to agree that the game will really have to work very hard indeed over the next eleven months if it is to even avoid elimination in the early rounds of voting. It should beat golf - but I wouldn't bet on rugby getting the vote ahead of anything else.

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