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RAN WiLD reps join Curacao and Aruba Rugby in a week of firsts

There’s a list of firsts and impressive milestones for Curacao and Aruba rugby unions this week. Today marks the midway point of what the Curacao union has dubbed Super Rugby Week. The week kicked off with a well-attended rugby clinic for beginners, yesterday included an international beach rugby tournament, and last but not least, today will unveil the first-ever international match for the men’s Aruba National team and the first international sevens match for Curacao. Next week will complete the lineup with additional clinics for local schools and training sessions for the men’s and women’s teams.

To bolster the week’s activities, the union also brought in RAN WiLD members, Tamara Dixon from Canada, and Maria Thomas from Trinidad & Tobago, to conduct training sessions and lead school visits. The senior level focus weighed heavily on the 10 a-side program as they prepare for RAN 10 a-side tournaments. At the youth level, Curacao boasts 15 schools eager to make rugby a sporting curriculum and looking to benefit from the rugby experience of Dixon and Thomas.

Friday the coaches led a joint national team session with Curacao and Aruba National Men’s teams.

“I am inspired by the readiness of islands to support other islands,” said Dixon. “Yes, we are in competition, but we are recognizing the strength we have to build each other up while highlighting our individual styles and talents through this collaboration.”

Coach Thomas remarked about the ‘infectious energy on the island’, and the opportunities for growth that the Super Rugby Week will provide.

“Attentive new athletes are participating in sessions ready to give their all; picking up skills quickly. Supported by national athletes the island’s player base is increasing and we can see new talent emerging.”

Curacao Head Coach Rob Perry was also relishing in the excitement within the rugby community and beyond.
“Our kickoff to our Super Rugby Week was fantastic,” said Perry. “Myself and Maria Thomas coached over 30 kids completely new to the sport for an introduction course, of all ages and genders.”
“Today we have the international sevens match with a professional film crew including commentators, and for the beach tournament we have a few professional photographers, so we will be uploading a lot of cool photos and videos after the weekend.”
The international match will be played at the national stadium of Curacao, SDK,  and the game will be kicked off by the sports minister of Curacao. There will also be a women’s sevens tournament and training sessions with the players from the introduction courses, before the game. Five Curacao players will receive caps today, and the average age of the team is young 18 years old.
Super Rugby Week Schedule:

Thursday– Introduction to rugby clinic with 30+ children all new to the sport
Friday– Four teams gather at Radulphus College for a two and a half hour rugby clinic, and a training session for the men’s seniors in the evening.
Saturday– International beach rugby tournament vs. Aruba, including the 4 male club teams, 3 girls teams, and youth games
Sunday- First international sevens match for the union, against Aruba and Women’s Tournament | KO 1 PM Local
Monday- Rugby clinics all day in three separate schools
Tuesday- Training session for the girls
Wednesday- Clinics in schools and men’s senior training

To see more photos and videos from the week, check the Curacao Rugby and Aruba Rugby Union pages.

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