Rugby clinic kick-starts tourney

A total of 130 children from six schools in Sandakan joined the coaching clinic.

EAGLE Rugby Club (ERC), in its continuous effort to promote rugby, held a coaching clinic at its club venue in Sandakan, Sabah, as a prelude to its Borneo Seven International Clubs Rugby tournament which will be held on March 23 and 24.

A total of 130 schoolchildren, 95 boys and 35 girls aged between nine and 12, attended the clinic conducted by ERC coaching director Brad Mika and coaches Norsyahidzan Saad, Serupepeli Naqasima, Sakiusa Terrance Gavidi, Mohamed Ali Mohamed Aris, Badrul Muktee and Mohd Fikri Sawi.

The children who attended the coaching clinic were from SJK(C) Pui Gin, SJK(C) Yuk Choi, SJK(C) Syn Hua, SRK Sung Siew, SK St Monica and SK Mawar in Sandakan.

Teachers from the schools were also present at the coaching clinic which was held from 8am to 10am.

The attendees were encouraged to watch the international Borneo Seven International Clubs Rugby this weekend to experience top-class rugby.

The draw for the tournament has pitted defending champions Iconz Australia with debutants Zastava from Russia in Group A in the men’s category. Meanwhile, Wipers Tsunami from Labuan is the other team in the group.

The children learning the basics of rugby.
The children learning the basics of rugby.  

Hosts Borneo Eagles are in Group C with Belgium Barbarians and Chinese Taipei 7s.

The Malaysian national 7s are in Group B together with Hong Kong Dragons and Coloundra Australia.

Sabah Eagles are in Group D with Bangkok 62 and Wipers Hugo from Labuan.

In the women’s eight-team tournament, Sabah Eagles and Malaysia 7s are drawn together in Group B with Nagato Blues, Southern Districts.

In Group A are Pearls Japan, Hong Kong Dragon, Singapore HPD and Lady Volcanoes.

Day one this Saturday will see their round robin league matches being played.

On Sunday, the tournament will continue from the quarter-final knockout stages.

Coaches and students had a chance to bond after the clinic.
Coaches and students had a chance to bond after the clinic.

The Borneo 7s has come a long way to be an established tournament in the region from its humble beginnings in 2001.

Local rugby aficionados first mooted the idea of organising a rugby tournament in Sandakan to give locals a chance to test their competitive skills.

It is also an event in the Sandakan Festival, which was a month-long event organised by Sandakan Municipal Council to promote Sandakan as the Nature City of Sabah.

Today, the tournament has earned worldwide recognition and is sanctioned by Asia Rugby, the governing body of the game in the region.

In 2008, a major change was made when it was decided to forego initial Tens format and use the Sevens format instead. This was successfully implemented in 2009 and the tournament is now popularly known as “The Greenest Sevens In The World”, as it is played in Borneo.

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