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The airline handed over the ticket at its Robb Street head office yesterday after slashing the cost by half.
Area Manager Dawn Murray said that it was with pride that BWIA was able to assist in the development in sport in Guyana, more particularly in the development of youth in sport in Guyana.
Murray disclosed that when president of the Guyana Rugby Football Union, Kit Nascimento, telephoned her about Chase, she thought he was an older man because of his achievements.
“He has achieved so much and when I learnt he was just 19 years, I said this is a remarkable young man whom we really need to help,” Murray said.
The airline official disclosed that in 57 years the carrier helped many teams but individual help in rugby was never done because most people know more about other sports like football and cricket, and very little of rugby.
“So for Elwin to be accepted into that prestigious club in England, speaks volumes about him,” Murray said.
Chase thanked BWIA for its input and the rugby fraternity. He said he wanted to encourage other youths and even senior persons to the rugby family.
“Don’t worry with what people say that rugby is a violent sport. It is a gentleman’s game,” Chase said.
Chase will be going on a two-year attachment with Birkenhead Park Rugby Football Club in Merseyside, England. The club will provide accommodation, and to offset personal costs will arrange casual part-time work. There is a possibility he will be able to continue his studies in physical education.
GRFU president Nascimento disclosed that the attachment was the result of the body looking for means of developing young players to another level of the game internationally.
Chase is the product of the youth and schools development programme in the sport, with impressive credentials. He graduated from Dolphin Secondary School with six subjects at CXC, having served as Head Prefect, House Captain and Rugby Captain and won the graduation prize as the Most Disciplined and Most Cooperative student.
The young player joined Laparkan Hornets in 1997 and on his own attended the Guyana Olympic Association Physical Fitness Sports Camp in April, 1998 and went on to the GOA August holiday camp that year. The following year, he attended the Courts August holiday camp, then the Georgetown’s Women’s Junior Chambers workshop.
At age 16 and still at school, the April 26, 1983-born was the youngest player in the Southern Caribbean Championships staged here, wearing his first National cap, being capped five other times. He was even selected in the West Indies Sevens team for the Cayman Islands International tournament.
“In his very short three or four years since he started playing rugby, Elwin has made a most remarkable progress as an athlete and rugby player. The GRFU had no hesitation in choosing him for the attachment in England,” Nascimento said.
The club was so interested in the initiative that it contributed 250 pounds Sterling towards the airfare, but the GRFU still needed US$400, which his mother raised.
“She sets a remarkable example for other mothers with children who can go further,” Nascimento declared.
The rugby boss also thanked former British High Commissioner Edward Glover for assisting in acquiring the visa and BWIA’s Murray for the ticket.