Doha proud to host Asian sevens
John Verghese, Gulf Times
April 26, 2007

By securing the hosting rights for the fifth Asian Women's Rugby Sevens Championship, the officials of the Doha Rugby Football Centre have enough reasons to be proud.

After being chosen by the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union (AGRFU) to stage the event after winning the hosting rights, fighting off the challenge from Thailand and China, the Doha RFC officials have shown that through commitment, hard work and a professional approach, much can be achieved.

In a matter of few weeks, the officials of the Doha RFC, who hold full-time jobs with leading companies in Qatar, have shown sufficient team work to rise up to the challenge of playing good hosts.

Rob Menzies, director, Communications and Marketing for the event said the Doha RFC was keen to make the event memorable.
"The Doha RFC has kept alive the tradition of weekend rugby since the early 70s involving expatriates largely from the United Kingdom. By being vested with the right to host an Asian event, it is truly an honour and we are hell-bent on making it an outstanding success," he told Gulf Times yesterday.

"The event is a first for the Middle East and due to a great team of individuals working together we are confident," he said.
In addition to the facelift that the Doha RFC ground has received for the event, the seating capacity has also been increased to around 3,000 in the stands which earlier could accommodate only around 400 spectators. As well as the 35 matches which will be held this Friday and Saturday, a carnival atmosphere is expected to prevail at the venue as a number of events have been lined up for the two days of rugby action.

Food, amusement games, craft stores and face painting activities will be on view at the venue on both days, and music with DJ Mario in attendance, will be played during the match intervals.

"It is a great feeling to be part of a tournament which is expected to give a big boost to women's sport in Qatar," said Aaron Palmer, sponsorship manager of the event.

"Ramada Plaza are our main sponsors but we are overwhelmed with the support shown by other companies too," he said.

"For a small group of part-timers to have come together to stage this event is indeed a proud achievement. With lots of fun and excitement in store it is the place to be during the weekend," he added.

The nine teams in the fray are Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, defending champions China, three-time winners Kazakhstan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and the Arabian Gulf Union, the hosts.

The Arabian Gulf team includes three girls from Doha, Grainnie Burness, Chantell Grove and Anne Firth, all of whom have just returned after featuring in the Hong Kong Sevens.

Meanwhile, the Chinese team who made an early arrival on Tuesday morning, took to the training pitch at the Al Sadd Club yesterday.

Have your say by visiting the Scrum Women's Rugby Forum.

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