Cayman’s men and women’s national 7s squads headed to Veracruz in Mexico on Wednesday for the Central American and Caribbean Games with the dream of returning with a medal.
They also hope to do well enough to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
The players on both squads have been put through some ferocious fitness training, with strength and conditioning coach Dave Clancy, which has yielded impressive results in a recent fitness test.
“We tested the players last week at the end of an intensive block and I was happy to see a dramatic improvement in the women, and more impressive were the men, who reached personal bests and we even saw some world-class scores that I have not seen elsewhere,” said Clancy.
The players will have to peak twice in Mexico, with a second tournament in the form of the NACRA championships, which pits the Cayman sides against the best from North American and the Caribbean countries in a bid to qualify for the Pan American Games and also the Hong Kong World series.
Both teams are looking extremely strong and playing to a style that the coaches believe will yield success at the tournaments.
“Both the men’s and women’s team are very much in a building phase,” said Clancy, who added that the men are bringing through a lot of the graduates from the Maples 7s academy who are exciting prospects.
He said that the women have a lot of new recruits who have been fast tracked into the team and are improving by the week.
“The goal is to inspire more young females to try the sport and continue the growth of both men’s and women’s rugby in Cayman.”
Game Schedule:CAC Nov. 2809:44Cayman WomenvVenezuala10:50Cayman Men v Barbados12:34Cayman Women v Mexico14:02Cayman Men v Colombia14:52Cayman Women v Colombia16:08Cayman Men v BermudaCAC Nov. 29 Quarterfinals TBCNACRA Dec. 310:22Cayman Women v St. Lucia11:28Cayman Men v St. Vincent12:22Cayman Women v Turks & Caicos1:28Cayman Men v Guyana2:32Cayman Women v Trinidad and Tobago4:22Cayman Men v MexicoNACRA Dec. 4 Quarterfinals TBC