Rugby is not as popular as cricket in Belize. Sometimes it can be confused with American football but the sport is gaining traction across the country. Tony Gillings, the President, Rugby Belize has spent the past few years promoting the sport and over the weekend he took the first national team to play in Salvador. The youths came in third, which is impressive for their first outing in Central America.
Tony Gillings – President at Rugby Belize: “We have asked all the coaches of all the district teams to nominate their best players. Who are your best kickers? Your best parcels? Your best angles of the ball? I want to put them all together and form a national team. The national team is made up of roughly eighteen to twenty people. From those you pick your top seven and a few subs, then you go play. This weekend we were in El Salvador, we were playing the national teams of Guatemala and El Salvador in our first overseas international rugby competition. We were nervous, the players were nervous, they have never played these teams before, they have never played at that level before but they did brilliantly. They won two of their four games which put them third in the table. They came over there with the experience of playing the national teams of El Salvador and Guatemala. Their confidence is sky high, their motivation is sky high. They had a great time and it wasn’t just the games. Unlike a lot of other sports after the games, all the teams got together so all those players of all those teams males and females got together. We had dinner, we had a social, we got to know each other, they exchanged phone numbers, tips, and coaching stuff. It was a great opportunity and so that is where we are now, we have a national team, the first Belizean National Rugby Team. Anybody who is interested in playing Rugby at any age level and believe me it is an age level. I have coached three-year-olds up to thirteen years old, it is any age level. You can find us on Facebook, Facebook.com /RugbyBze.”
If you would like to join one of the rugby associations you can reach Tony Gillings by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call him at 635-7339.