XL Catlin's continued sponsorship of a long-term partnership between the Bermuda Rugby Football Union and Atavus, the company co-founded by World Rugby Hall-of-Famer, Waisale Serevi, sees the two-time World Cup winner back on island this week; the first of three scheduled visits in 2017.
Joining Serevi, are USA Women's Head Coach Richie Walker, U.S. Eagle Shalom Sunialu, and three-time National Champion Carly MacKinnon.
The team have already led Beyond Rugby sessions for students of Dellwood, CedarBridge and Berkeley, and with scheduled visits to Saltus, Victor Scott, Somersfield and St. George's Prep, National Team sessions and the season's final Sunday Rugby event, the group will engage more than 1,000 Bermudian rugby players by the time they return to the U.S. on Monday, from as young as 4 years old, up to the Senior National Teams.
Bermuda's Men's & Women's National Teams are building towards the RAN 7s which will take place in November, which will have the added incentive of acting as the qualifing tournament for the prestigious Hong Kong 7s, the World Cup Finals in San Franciso, as well as the 2018 CACSO and Commonwealth Games.
While the long-term goal of this week's visit is to lay the foundation for strong performances in November, and what lies beyond that pending qualification, the immediate focus is to prepare the Bermuda teams competing in the Ariel Re 7s on March 17 & 18 at the National Sports Centre. More than 200 athletes will take part in high-level competition this weekend, and it is a rare occasion that so many of our young men and women have the opportunity to play against international teams on home soil.
"We always look forward to the Atavus team visiting and exposing more of the island’s youth to the benefits rugby can bring to their lives,” said Mark Berry, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at XL Group who is also a Bermudian former rugby player and a committee member of the UK-based children’s charity of rugby The Wooden Spoon. “We look forward to building on the excitement created by Serevi’s previous visits to not only get more children across the island interested in the game, but to build the core rugby skills of our high end players to compete with the best in the world.”
“We are extremely grateful to Waisale Serevi, everyone at Atavus Rugby and XL Catlin for their help developing the sport in Bermuda. Their frequent visits provide world class guidance, hands-on structure and a framework from the grassroots of mini-rugby, through our thriving school leagues, right up to our Senior National Teams.” said Bermuda RFU President, Sean Field-Lament.