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Rugby Sevens SOS! - World Cup team still without sponsorship

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter

When the Jamaican team qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament last November, chairman of the Jamaica Rugby Union Jerry Benzwick thought that sponsors would be lining up to associate themselves with the team's historic achievement.

But according to Benzwick, the success of the Jamaican Crocs in Mexico last year appears not enough to attract corporate Jamaica as the team is still without sponsorship.

Benzwick said that the lack of sponsorship has been a hindrance to the team's preparation for the World Cup Sevens Tournament, which is due in two months and nine days.

"I get the feeling that nobody understands the magnitude of what we have done," Benzwick said. "We have got a lot of congratulations, but that is where it pretty much stops."

He said: "What we have done is not small. The Rugby World Cup rivals any football tournament you can put on in the world."

Unlike other tournaments where the union has struggled to finance the airfare of the team, Benzwick is sure that the team will make the trip to San Francisco as World Rugby will be paying the fares of 12 of the 13-member team, along with three officials.

"We have to pay for the 13th man, and that is a necessity that we have haven't figured out how we will finance yet," Benzwick said.

But there are other things that Benzwick would want to do before the team leaves for the tournament.




One of those things is bringing the team together in a training camp in Jamaica.

"We would like to bring the English boys here in Jamaica to have a training camp with the local boys before the World Cup," Benzwick said. "As you know, the team is made up of some English-based players and this would be a good way to show them to Jamaica because Jamaica doesn't know them. We would love to have them together for a week."

He continued: "We would want nutrition for the players and we don't have any major sponsors stepping in saying, 'Here is money to cover these expenses'."

Benzwick said that he was very disappointed that no sponsors had lent assistance to the union yet. "I think people should be really excited that a team from Jamaica has qualified for the World Cup. But mi nuh hear nobody a come to we to see how we can make this thing better," Benzwick said.

Jamaica will take on France in the first round of the tournament on July 20.