….As Namibia hosts FISU Rugby Sevens championship
By John Tuerijama
IT will be hard tackles, sweat and no walk in the park for Namibia when the country looks at finishing this year’s International University Sports Federation (FISU) campaign in the semi-final stage.
Namibia will play hosts to the 2018 edition of the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championship slated from 12 to 14 July at the Swakopmund Central Sport Ground.
In an interview with Confidente, Tertiary Institute Sports Association of Namibia (TISAN) President Werner Jeffery said since it is the first-ever world sevens championships to be hosted on the African continent, TISAN is eyeing to reach the semi-final stage of the championship.
He said that since Namibia’s participation in her maiden appearance in France, in 2011, there has been tremendous progress as they initially ended eleventh out of the 16 teams.
He further added that in 2013, Namibia ended ninth in Russia, and with the progress being evident the south-west African country managed sixth placement in 2014 after playing Japan in the plate final of the sevens championship.
“We have done very well and in 2016, we reached the plate final in Italy and ended fifth overall but this time around our objective is to reach the semi-final but should we progress beyond that it will definitely be a bonus,” stressed Jeffery.
He said that TISAN has produced a number of players who have signed contracts with teams in Europe.
Namibia’s rugby international player, Tjiuee Uanivi, a product of TISAN played for the French top 14 side Brive between 2013 and 2015 and, after the 2015 International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup the latter moved to neighbouring South Africa to ply his trade with the Sharks while also representing the rugby club at the 2016 Super Rugby season. The flanker played five times for the Sharks XV in the 2016 Currie Cup qualification series but returned to the northern hemisphere penning his signature with the Glasgow Warriors in the Scottish Pro 12 campaign.
Another success story of TISAN, is Lesley Klim who players his trade for Ospreys regional side as a centre or winger. He previously played for the Welwitschias and the Doncaster Knights.
Jeffery said the final trials will take place this coming Saturday and that TISAN sevens team has been very busy the whole rugby season playing from the domestic rugby league and from the Currie Cup.
Asked about any financial assistance from government through the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), Jeffery said they have engaged the NSC but was quick to say that all that they want is working with the NSC and not fight with them.
“Economically Namibia is suffering from the world economic meltdown but any contribution from either the government or private sector is hugely welcome.”
From Africa, hosts Namibia will vie for top honours against Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Uganda while Zimbabwe is shortlisted and will only be brought in if a team decides to withdraw from the championship. Other countries vying for gold are Argentina, France, Great Britain and holders Australia.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015