The MERBW7s Management team and key partners at the official Tournament launch at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, Barbados. (left to right) Rudolph Blackman (Courtesy Rent-A-Car), Mark Thompson (Tourism Development Corporation), Devon Chase (Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.), Nik Lashley (Mitsubishi Electric Barbados representative), Brian Stollmeyer (MERBW7s), Sean Ward (Barbados Rugby 7s Team Captain), Hiranand Thani (The Royal Shop), and George Nicholson (MERBW7s).
Bridgetown – The 2018 Mitsubishi Electric Rugby Barbados World 7s (MERBW7s) Tournament was officially launched today at the Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados in St. Michael.
Set to take place over the weekend of 8th and 9th December at the world-renowned Kensington Oval, the Tournament will see Barbados welcome some of the best Men’s and Women’s Club Rugby teams from across the globe. Thirty-two teams from far and wide including South Africa, Argentina, Scotland, England, Wales, Canada and the USA, as well as regional teams from Venezuela, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, St Lucia, Trinidad and of course Barbados have indicated their intention to compete in this year’s event, all vying fiercely for the US $30,000 prize money up for grabs.
In his address to the media, MERBW7s General Manager, Brian Stollmeyer, said his vision for the Tournament was to see it rival the likes of the Hong Kong Sevens and Dubai Sevens, especially in the Women’s Division. “This Tournament is the longest running Club Rugby 7s Tournament in the Caribbean, and with the calibre of teams looking to participate this year in Barbados, it’s sure to secure our reputation as one of the biggest tournaments on the global Rugby events calendar. The largest growth we are seeing is with the Women’s teams, and it’s only going to get bigger from here on in. We are looking to highlight Barbados as a premier sporting destination and with a great selection of affordable ticketing packages on offer, I encourage everyone to come out and show their support for this exciting international event,” he said.
Manager of the MERBW7s Local Organising Committee, George Nicholson, also took the opportunity to thank all MERBW7s Tournament partners for their continued support, announcing that this year’s Tournament is proudly supported by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. “We are delighted to have Mitsubishi Electric on board as our official 2018 Title Partner. To have such a prestigious global brand partnering with us is testament to the standard of the Tournament we are hosting. This year, we’ve really upped the ante with the prize money and venue, as well as welcomed aboard a diverse array of wonderful Tournament partners, to ensure we have just the right mix for a world-class sporting event,” he said. Nicholson also put the call out for any potential Tournament partners, both at home and abroad, to lend their support to the MERBW7s. “We have a variety of Tournament sponsorship and partnership packages to suit all manner of budgets. The time is now to join us in showcasing Barbados as an international heavyweight in the sporting arena. We invite all businesses and individuals to consider becoming a Tournament partner and to help us to expand this event to great new heights, both now and into the future.”
Nicholson revealed to the media that so far this year’s official Tournament Partners, in addition to Title Partner Mitsubishi Electric, include:
- Tourism Development Corporation (TDC)
- Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI)
- Hamilton & Inches
- Blue Waters
- Bristol Sport
- Intimate Hotels of Barbados
- Courtesy Rent-A-Car
- Power X4
- JetBlue Vacations; and
- Innotech Equipment Inc.
The 2018 MERBW7s launch kicks off what is expected to be an action-packed few months for Rugby in the lead up to the highly-anticipated December Tournament. Next month, the Barbados JetBlues Men’s 7s team heads to the US to compete and promote the MERBW7s Tournament to an international audience before Barbados plays host to this year’s Rugby Americas North (RAN) Regional 7s Championships in September.
As part of a broader strategy, Rugby Barbados is also hosting its annual Charity Dinner and Auction at the Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados on Friday 7th December, partnering with The Royal Shop and The Rotary Club of Barbados South to bring in renowned British sports broadcaster, John Inverdale, as a guest speaker. There are a host of additional Tournament-related activities for both fans and players to enjoy, either side of the Tournament.
Tickets for the 2018 MERBW7s Tournament will soon be on sale. Daily general admission to the 3 Ws Stand will range from US$10 for children to US$20 for adults. The Tournament also boasts a fantastic party experience for spectators in the Power X4 Party Stand, as well as Corporate Hospitality Packages with access to private box seating.