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12 July 2018 | in World University Championships, Rugby

WUC Rugby Sevens open in Namibia

SWAKOPMUND, NAMIBIA – The 8th edition of the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championships officially opened on Wednesday evening at Swakopmund Central Stadium with authorities and organisers relishing the start of the prestigious event.


Despite the late withdrawal of four teams, five women’s and 11 men’s teams proudly waved their flags in procession during the opening ceremony in the first FISU Rugby Sevens event to be hosted on the African continent.

All the teams of the 8th edition of the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championship gather ahead of the opening ceremony

Following the teams’ procession onto the athletics track surrounding the field, the Namibian anthem was proudly sung, before the official FISU flag was hoisted amid the singing of the association’s anthem “Gaudeamus Igitur.”


The Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua then officially welcomed all the athletes to the region, highlighting the community’s pride in being selected to host the high-profile tournament.


“It’s an honour for our region and the holiday town of Swakopmund to host an international rugby event for the first time,” he said. “Platforms like this give an opportunity to athletes to share ideas, learn about each other’s culture and build friendships while also creating possible opportunities for future student athletes.”

A local cultural group performing in the FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championship opening ceremony

Jeffrey Werner, a representative from the Local Organising Committee, echoed Mutjavikua’s sentiments, thanking FISU for showing confidence in Namibia to host the event.


“In 2016 when I received the FISU flag at the previous Rugby Sevens Championships in Swansea, I immediately invited as many nations as possible to come experience the African continent, and now you are here,” Werner said as he addressed the athletes from the podium. “I welcome you, and hope you enjoy your time in Namibia. Thank you to FISU for giving Namibia this opportunity – this is a big thing for us. We hope it’s a great experience for all the students.”


Following a performance by the TISAN Dance Sports Association to the competition’s theme song sung by Frans Jeffrey Marti, as well as a dance from a local cultural group, FISU Vice-President Marian Dymalski shared his elation in being preset in Namibia for three-day tournament.

All the teams in the opening ceremony arrived onto the rugby competition pitch, making for a fitting locale for the event

“On behalf of FISU, I’m honoured to welcome you and would like to express my delight in being here,” he said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for sports lovers to get to know the country of Namibia. This competition represents more than just sport – it’s an opportunity to learn about other cultures, and do so with a healthy mind and healthy body. I wish you all good luck, and positive experiences.”


After highlighting the significance of the tournament, which for some is a stepping stone to their respective senior national teams, Namibia’s Minister of Sport, Youth and National Services Erastus Uutoni officially opened the championships, concluding a memorable evening under the Swakopmund stars, with the hard work put in by local authorities, organisers and volunteers finally bearing fruition ahead of Thursday’s first day of action.


The on-field rivalry starts at midday, with the Brazilian women’s team facing off against South Africa in what is set to be a pulsating day’s action.