The curtain falls on WUC Rugby Sevens 2018
As the golden sun dipped below the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Swakopmund, so did the entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable FISU World University Championships Rugby Sevens draw to a close, bringing an end to the 2018 edition of the bi-annual event.
Following three days of thrilling rugby action, the debutant hosts bid farewell to the 16 teams that took part in the first FISU Rugby Sevens event to take place on African soil, as the closing ceremony at the Swakopmund Central Stadium drew the final curtain on this year’s competition.
The medal ceremony kicked off the evening’s activities following the day’s play, as the Belgian ladies were handed their bronze medals, Australia was awarded silver while the French women, who were dominant throughout the event, were handed their medals and the very same trophy they won in Swansea two years ago.
The men’s medal ceremony followed soon after, as the French men were handed their bronze medals, the Australians silver, while there were wild celebrations from the South Africans following the handover of their gold medals and the title-winning trophy.
The flags of each nation represented at the championships were then brought out in procession and waved in unison, before Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Werner Jeffrey addressed all those present with a word of thanks.
“A big thank you to all the participating countries, and a big congratulations to the winners. I hope you all enjoyed your stay in Namibia, and hope you return one day with your families. I’d like to thank the FISU technical team for they great job they have done, all the technical staff and all the people that made this event possible, from the volunteers to the drivers, the caterers, the referees and medical staff.”
FISU Vice-President Marian Dymalski then gave his closing remarks, adding that he hopes another international event will soon return to the shores of Namibia.
“We have come to the end of this wonderful championship. Given that this was your first time hosting an event, the organisers did extremely well, and showed that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. Over the past three days, we have experienced team-building, friendship and the joy of victory. You have shown how sport brings people together. On behalf of FISU, I would like to thank all those involved in the organising, sponsorship and running of this event. I hope this will not be the last championships held in Namibia.”
The official FISU flag was then brought forward, as Dymalski symbolically handed over the flag to Emiliano Gordin, who will head the organising committee as host of the next WUC Rugby Sevens event taking place in La Plata, Argentina in 2020.
“On behalf of the Argentinean University Sports Federation, I would like to thank the organising committee and the Namibian University Sport Federation. Being here was a great experience for us, and our whole delegation has had a fantastic time in your wonderful country of Namibia. I have observed this whole event, and will now go back to Argentina to continue working on a wonderful World University Championships Rugby Sevens for 2020. I know you will love our country and love La Plata city. See you all in La Plata 2020!”
All the athletes then gathered onto the field for one last group photo which then marked the official end of the day’s proceedings, and the closure of the Games in Namibia.
Yet in true FISU style, all the athletes from the different nations then sang and danced together in a celebratory mood, before joyfully taking the busses back to the athlete’s village to continue the night’s festivities.
Golden smiles, lessons learnt and long-lasting memories made … and that’s a wrap form the 8th WUC Rugby Sevens in Namibia!