Under the leadership of Rugby Africa, the African women’s rugby sevens teams met in Tunis to prepare together for the Olympic Games and the Olympic repêchage. Madagascar and Tunisia continue their training for the final tournament on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 May.
Cape Town, South Africa, 6 May 2021 – So far only the Kenya team have qualified for the Olympic Games and the Tunisian and Madagascan teams will take part in the repechage in Monaco in June. In a spirit of solidarity, Rugby Africa and World Rugby proposed to these three federations the concept of a solidarity camp during a virtual meeting held on the 10th of March 2021. The dates, match and accommodation venues and program for the week were discussed and accepted with enthusiasm and gratitude by all.
The teams therefore met at the Maison du Rugby on April 30 and played a tournament on May 1 and 2 which was broadcast live on the social networks of Rugby Africa and the Tunisian rugby federation. Khaled Babbou, President of Rugby Africa congratulated the commitment of the three teams and the level of play demonstrated on the pitch. “I would like to thank the three federations for their participation in this Solidarity camp which provides the teams with game time and preparation time, all the more necessary after a long period without international competition. ”
Andrew Owor, Vice-President of Rugby Africa and President of the Rugby Commission, insists that this camp represents the first event of resumption of African competitions in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is a very positive message to restart our continental activities with a solidarity camp for women’s rugby, which is a major focus of our development strategy at Rugby Africa. The Kenyan team will conclude its camp today while Tunisia and Madagascar will play a series of matches again on Friday and Saturday.”
Dr Imed M’Rabet, Tunisian Rugby Federation medical officer and member of the Rugby Africa Medical Commission supervised the application of the Covid-19 protocol throughout the camp. “The protocol of the Rugby Africa Medical Commission is based on the recommendations of World Rugby and has been approved by the Executive Committee of Rugby Africa. It is implemented during the solidarity camp at the Maison du Rugby and we perform anti-gene tests on all players and management every two days. On arrival in Tunisia, a player tested positive for Covid-19, she is fortunately in good health and was placed in isolation in a separate room as provided for in the protocol circulated ahead of time to the teams. I make sure that she is well and that she is always kept apart and out of contact with the rest of the participants. The latest round of testing on May 4 on all teams is completely negative. ”
Khaled Babbou concluded by thanking the Tunisian Rugby Federation for the successful hosting and organization of this event which marks the resumption of continental African rugby competitions. “All of Africa is supporting Kenya who will represent us at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July and cheering on Tunisia and Madagascar who can still land a ticket in the Monaco repechage in June. #AfricaAsOne! “