Caption:Waisale Serevi & Ben Gollings with Staff of HSBC, Fast Track Media & Kelepi Abariga of Bula Gulf Media.Photo:SUPPLIED.
Widely regarded as two of the greatest Sevens players of all time, Waisale Serevi and Ben Gollings, conducted a 3 day Sevens Rugby coaching clinic in the United Arab Emirates recently as part of the HSBC Rugby Festivals.
The Sevens legends spent the entire Monday imparting their many years of skills and knowledge of the sevens code to students of Secondary Technical School at the Al Ain Amblers Rugby Club, before going through the afternoon sessions with students from various schools within the area.
These were followed by two grueling sessions at the Dubai Sports City stadium.
The HSBC sponsored program is also a lead up to the 2014/2015 Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens next week where eight teams will be vying for the UAE National Schoolboys trophy this year.
The final match will be played on Pitch 1 in front of 40,000 spectators marking another huge milestone in UAE rugby.
Qais Al Dhalai, secretary general of the UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF) has been leading the rise of UAE rugby and is quick to highlight the importance of these expert coaching clinics for the Emirates’ next generation of stars:
“It’s an honor for these young players to learn from the game’s most iconic Sevens players. Rugby has come a long way in the UAE since 2010, when most children had never touched the oval-shaped ball. Today we have over 3,200 Emirati boys and girls playing the game regularly in local schools. The UAE National Schoolboys tournament is the culmination of years of hard work at a grassroots level.’
HSBC is a long-term sponsor of rugby at all levels, and the partnership with Serevi Rugby focuses on taking the sport to local communities around the world ahead of the hugely anticipated Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This week Serevi and Gollings will lead a number of HSBC Rugby Festivals starting in Al Ain for the U16 teams followed by sessions in Dubai at the Rashid School for Boys for around 200 young players (U10s and U16s).
“Our key focus this week is to prepare the senior teams for the UAE National Schoolboys tournament next month. This means the sessions will focus on core skills, decision-making, and game execution,” commented Serevi, who led Fiji to rugby World Cup sevens victory in 1997 and 2005.
“We are looking forward to coaching these young players and sharing tips and advice that will help them bring their A game to the Dubai Rugby Sevens next month.”
HSBC is a long-standing supporter of rugby around the world and in the Middle East the Bank is helping to grow the game through a comprehensive year-round programme of rugby partnerships at all levels. HSBC supports the sport from the grassroots all the way through to acting as Main Sponsor and Official Bank of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, Round 2 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which takes place next week from December 5-6.