Maples deserves its props

The national sevens rugby team competed in Mexico City last week and finished fifth in the tournament and fourth in the region, winning the Bowl Final against Jamaica.

They also won one of five coveted Central American and Caribbean games spots for July 2010.

Eleven of the 12 players selected for the national team are from the Maples National Sevens Academy that trained four days per week for 10 months; Josh Clarke, Edward Westin, Jonathan Doak, Justin White,

Andrew Ibeh, Mike Wilson, Sean Murphy, Joel Clarke, Wallace Lyttle, Robbie Cribb and Keswick Wright.

Skiing star Dow Travers was the 12th player. He is at university in the US.

Technical director Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams said: ‘In January we shall be starting the Maples national sevens Academy programme.
‘In 2010 we are expanding the programme to include women for the first time and will be coaching coaches as well as players to elite levels of performance. The programme runs five mornings a week from 6-7:30am. Next year there will also be three evening gym sessions for the academy members.

‘The men have qualified for the CAC games and as part of the preparation the academy will be undertaking two camps with Canada and the USA national teams, a tournament in the USA and a camp and two tournaments in the UK as well as the CAC and NACRA games. The national team is striving to be champions of the region in 2010 and to qualify for the 2011 Pan Am games.

‘The women will be preparing for the 2010 NACRA regional championships and will participate in a USA warm up tournament and the UK training camp and tournaments.

‘The number of Academy players for 2010 is expected to grow from 15 to over 60 as we add women and younger developing players from our Under-19, U18, U16 and U15 programmes as we begin to develop players for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

‘All in all it is a very exciting programme for all involved and the nation as a whole.’