World Rugby has announced details of a rugby sevens investment strategy to optimise the sport’s preparation for, and participation at, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, now scheduled for July 2021.
In a significant boost to unions and players, the international federation is making a dedicated initial investment of US$2.5 million to support Olympic qualified national unions prepare for sevens’ biggest single global event, the Olympics.
World Rugby says with all sports impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the Olympic Games postponed by 12 months, the commitment is being made with the welcome support of an advancement of International Olympic Committee payments to International Federations and National Olympic Committees.
Each union that has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games will be able to apply to World Rugby for funding which can be directed towards rugby sevens squad training camps, competition support, technical and sports science and medical programmes.
The news of the funding boost comes as collaborative contingency planning for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 continues to progress with ongoing reviews into the delivery of the remaining 2021 men’s and women’s Series events and preparations towards a safe, secure and impactful return to action in line with World Rugby’s COVID-19 return to play protocols.
Uganda qualified for the event having finished second at the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens in Johannesburg in November 2019. However, per now all sporting activities in the country continue to wait hopefully for the presidential lockdown on sports to be lifted so that the players return to full training.