CAC bronze big for rugby, says Benzwick
Jerry Benzwick, chairman of the Jamaica Rugby Football Union, says he is hoping that the country's bronze-medal placing at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia will help to lift the profile of the sport locally.
Benzwick told The Gleaner on Thursday that despite their failure to win the gold medal at the tournament, he is delighted that they came away with the bronze at the championships.
"It is very satisfactory and a very good performance, and I am over the moon that we won a bronze medal, which was no easy feat, and so I must commend the guys on their performance," said Benzwick.
"We had hoped to have won the silver or the gold and we would have loved to won the tournament, but a bronze is a bronze, and we are happy for that," he said.
Benzwick added that their performance at the CAC Games has put the sport among the top performing teams in the country.
Among the elite
"If you look at all the medalling sports in the country right now, we can consider ourselves among the elite," said Benzwick. "It also shows that we are consistent in what we are doing, and it shows that we are here to stay and will be getting bigger and better," he said.
He noted that the national side is set compete in the Regional Rugby Championships in Barbados from September 22-23. The championship serves as a qualifier for the Pan American Games and Hong Kong Sevens tournaments, and Benzwick added that his organisation is desperately in need of funds to offset cost of this trip.
"We have a tournament coming up, and we definitely need some more money to offset the cost of taking our players over there. We also need funds for nutrition but we don't have any money, and so hopefully, this bronze medal will lead some sponsors to come on board and support us," Benzwick stated.