Rugby had an outstanding year in 2006
By Isaiah Chappelle
January 6, 2007
THE focus is now on possible national awardees for sportspersons who were outstanding in the past year, and invariably the major sport disciplines come into the spotlight, but rugby had an outstanding year.
National Sevens captain Troy Arjoon should get a nod, having led Guyana to the country’s first-ever regional title, capturing the North America & West Indies Rugby Association (NAWIRA) sevens crown.
The team played unbeaten in the championship, even putting away a USA Select side on the way to the title in Barbados in November.
Arjoon used his experience of being a former West Indies player, representing the region in North America for the International Rugby Board (IRB)’s International Sevens championships, to lead a very young team to victory after victory.
In creating local rugby history, the team itself is worthy of the Team of the Year award, having produced six members for possible selection to the West Indies team that will compete in this year’s IRB International Sevens championships in San Diego, a qualifier for the World Championships.
Five of the West Indies selectees were part of the West Indies Select side that won the Carib Beer International Sevens championship in Trinidad & Tobago, last month.
President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Noel Adonis yesterday told Chronicle Sport that he was confident that at least four of the players called to the West Indies squad would make the team.
“And if insularity is put aside, we should have five.”
By extension, the GRFU qualifies by leaps and bounds for the Association of the Year award because of their nursery development strategy is bearing fruit, even at the senior level now.
And the female game grew to 15s stage, with Guyana placing second in the West Indies championship hosted by Jamaica in September, even beating eventual champions Jamaica in the round robin format. They placed third in the Sevens in Barbados, the following month.
The GRFU, also, hosted a successful NAWIRA Under-18 championship, and the Enthusiasts Over-35 team.
Though the junior team lost the West Indies Under-18 title, they bowed only to the USA in the NAWIRA final after topping their group, but lost the regional title to Jamaica by complex calculation.
However, some players graduated to the senior ranks and wore the national colours. Outstanding was National Under-18 captain Randel Keiler, who not only performed on the field of play, but academically. He was a top performer at the CSEC exams and moved on from Annandale Secondary to pursue more advanced studies at President’s College.
Such achievements certainly put him in line for consideration of Junior Sportsman of the Year.