Fijian legend to help transform Bermuda rugby
Rugby Sevens legend Waisale Serevi and his team of international coaches will spearhead a three-year development programme to transform rugby across the Island.
Serevi, who is widely regarded as one of the best Sevens players of all time, has spent the last few days visiting local schools and yesterday held a youth camp at the National Sports Centre (NSC).
The 45-year-old Fijian will also work with Bermuda’s national team players as part of a two-day coaching camp at the NSC this weekend in preparation for the upcoming NACRA Caribbean Sevens Championships.
Sponsored by XL, the programme will see Serevi visit the Island on two more occasions before the end of the year in an effort to grow the game in Bermuda.
“Thanks to our friends at XL, we are striving to create a legacy for future Bermudian rugby players by sharing the game we love with them and providing the national teams with hands-on training they need to take their game to the next level,” said Serevi, head coach and co-founder of Serevi Rugby.
“Many of our coaches we’re bringing to Bermuda come from my native Fiji, so they share some common experiences with the island youth we’ll be working with and can connect and inspire them about the opportunities rugby can provide in life.”
The on-island sessions will also be led by top Sevens coach Evan Haigh and former or current national team players Pate Tuilevuka of the USA and Fijian pair William Rasileka and Isimeli Daveta.
Patrick Calow, a Bermuda national team coach, believes Serevi Rugby’s three-year programme will help the Island become a top ranked Caribbean nation.
“Because of the generous support of XL, and the expertise brought by Serevi Rugby, we feel this three-year programme will transform rugby across the entire island,” he said.
“The training received by our national team all the way down to our youth will help us lay the foundation and achieve our goal of becoming a top ranked Caribbean rugby nation. We can’t thank XL enough for this opportunity for our players to work with the best.”
Mark Berry, senior vice-president at XL Group and former Bermuda player, added: “We believe in providing boys and girls across Bermuda with new character building opportunities like this to encourage an active lifestyle, teamwork, respect, and the opportunities that come with the sport of rugby.
“Bringing a world-class rugby company like Serevi to Bermuda to work with the local RFU will provide players from beginner to our national team with exposure to the sport and a new level of skills which we believe will benefit Bermuda.”
Serevi, who led a coaching clinic in Bermuda last summer, played in the 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2005 World Cup Sevens, winning the tournament in 1997 and 2005.
He also excelled as 15s rugby, representing Fiji at the 1991 1999 and 2003 World Cups.
Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic bow as a new sport in Brazil in 2016.