Lord Coe: Rugby Sevens to enhance Olympics
Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee and Executive Chairman, CSM, has spoken in Hong Kong of his belief that Rugby Sevens will enhance the Olympic Games programme, starting in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Speaking at a 'Future of Rugby' media round table organised by the World Series title sponsor HSBC at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Coe enthused about the shorter form of the game.
“In the 21st century, the challenge is to take sport to young people," Coe said.
"Rugby Sevens is seen as an opportunity to freshen the Olympic programme, bringing kids in from different parts of the world where rugby Sevens really does mean something. Rugby Sevens will help the globalisation of the game and the number of countries that will play it."
Coe believes that the greater emphasis on speed and skill in Rugby Sevens gives more nations an opportunity to compete at the highest level.
“They may look at this (15-man Rugby) and think normal size people are not playing this game in most positions. Sevens is a way of bringing back some of the explosive and exciting nature of the game," he added.
Coe also spoke about Sevens' own development mirroring the further globalisation of the Olympic movement.
“If you look forward 20 years, there is an outside chance that what I would describe as ‘old and mature’ cities will not be hosting an Olympic games. By 2028, it may not be a city that we have even thought about. At the same time, you have got a game that is expanding into hosting nations that are at best ‘emerging’ and there is a massive potential in that mix,” said Coe.
The Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is round six of the HSBC Sevens World Series, followed a week later by round 7, the Tokyo Sevens on 30-31 March.