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Australian Schools Rugby News : May 2011
Over recent years the Australian Schools Ruby Union has gathered some valuable experience amongst its own staff. executive committee Member, Victorian Kevin culliver (right) has been involved extensively with the delivery of Sevens tournaments at the world level. this experience will stand the ASRU in good stead when the development of the Sevens game takes off at the youth level in Australia in preparation for Australia’s involvement at the Olympics. Kevin was the competition Manager at the Melbourne commonwealth Games where the amazing success of the Sevens saw world record crowds for Sevens attend and a tournament of extraordinary international sporting goodwill and entertainment on display. Now over the last 2 and a half years Kevin has, during holiday times, cooperated with the indian Rugby Union, the iRB (based in ireland) and the commonwealth Games Federation (based in London) to ensure the delivery of the Sevens at the delhi commonwealth Games in 2010. At this time the commonwealth Games is the highest level Sevens tournament held at a multi sport event with the Sevens not included at the Olympics until 2016. Kevin is a strong promoter of the Sevens and extols the virtue of the version of the game that can be played well by many cultural groups of varying physical sizes, can easily be played in many nations not usually able to compete at the 15s, uses little equipment and can be played well by both genders. Also, the rapid fire tournament event format easily lends itself to multi sport medal events like international Games. the indian experience was challenging and trying to work with people that are now within the police investigations and courts system of india was doubly difficult but the world experience was invaluable. the indian Rugby Union people were fantastic passionate enthusiasts for the game. What started out for Kevin culliver as being an advisor to the Melbourne based architects of the purpose built rugby stadium in delhi turned into a seven trip campaign to india to ensure the tournament was delivered by the local organising committee. the local team of 6 swelled with co opted administrators from Australia and New Zealand to maintain the high level of professionalism the iRB is so famous for in delivering the Sevens Series with the iRB technical delegate Beth coalter ensuring the requirements were delivered. the commonwealth Games event saw 16 teams of the commonwealth come together in a tough competition where 11 of the world’s highest ranked teams were there to win Gold. Making the delhi competition work, showed that the Sevens is a transportable event that can be established in non traditional rugby parts of the world and that the format at the multi sports events suits Sevens and gets rugby more on the world stage. certainly showing Heads of State, various nation’s Royals and most importantly non rugby international sports administrators the splendid nature of the Sevens have been a highlight for Kevin. the experiences of establishing a success of the last two commonwealth Games should stand the ASRU in good stead in the years to come. AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS 12 sevens ready ASRN_no8_may_11.indd 13 13/5/11 9:15:23 AM