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By ARU Media Unit
Australia’s quest for Rugby Sevens Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in 2015 has received a boost today from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA).
Both the men’s and women’s Youth Rugby Sevens programmes will receive additional financial support from the ACGA to deliver training camps and programmes to fast track the next generation of Australian Sevens stars.
The funding will be used to ensure Australia’s men’s and women’s Youth Rugby Sevens Squads are provided with every opportunity to participate in High Performance camps on a regular basis.
The ACGA funding is provided through the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad (AJCGS) program.
Over the past few years the men’s youth Commonwealth Games pathway has delivered elite talent including Qantas Men’s Sevens stars, Alan Fa’alava’au, Tom Cusack, Lewis Holland and Cam Clark.
The women’s programme, which will benefit from the ACGA funding for the first time in 2013, has also helped identify a number of new national stars including, Charlotte Caslick, Tiana Penitani, Brooke Anderson and Evania Pelite who have all debuted for the Qantas Women’s Sevens this season.
ARU General Manager of Rugby Sevens, Anthony Eddy, welcomed the additional funding and said it would assist in identifying and progressing even more elite youth talent.
“ARU’s youth Commonwealth Games pathway plays an important role in helping to build the elite playing depth in Australia,” Mr Eddy said.
“Through the pathway we’ve been able to identify and fast track a number of players for both the men’s and women’s games at a national level.
“The additional funding from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association will assist us to continue our work and will support our goal of winning Commonwealth and Olympic Games Gold medals in the coming years.”
The Australian Men’s Sevens side will head to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games with the aim of going one better than their Silver medal performance at the 2010 Delhi Games.
In 2015 Australia’s men’s and women’s Youth Rugby Sevens sides will head to Samoa for the fifth Commonwealth Youth Games.
The 2015 Tournament will be the first time women’s Rugby Sevens has been included in the Commonwealth Games program.
Both sides will be looking to re-produce their impressive performances that delivered the men Silver medals and women Gold medals in the Australian Youth Olympics Festival earlier this year.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association Chief Executive, Perry Crosswhite AM, said this support for junior development comes on top of the $8 million the ACGA is already distributing through its ‘Go Glasgow’ program to help the 18 sports prepare for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“Rugby Sevens is an exciting and fast growing sport and we recognise the importance of identifying and supporting the next generation of athletes coming through,” Mr Crosswhite said.
“The AJCGS program provides targeted funding to help sports transition their emerging athletes to senior level through increased training and competition exposure.
“In 2015 Australia’s men’s and women’s Commonwealth Youth Games sides will head to Samoa and in 2018 the Commonwealth Games will be staged here on the Gold Coast. At both these events it would be great to see Australia claim Gold in Rugby Sevens.”
The Youth (U18) Men’s and Women’s Sevens programs has been developed within the ARU’s high performance player pathway to ensure alignment and integration with important state and national talent development and selection programs.
Australia’s men’s and women’s Youth Rugby Sevens squads who will benefit from the ACGA support will be finalised in the coming months.
Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Geraint John has lauded his charges after they recorded their second top-three finish in consecutive weeks.