Glamorgan Graduate Developing Rugby Sevens Team for 2016 Olympics
CARDIFF, August 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
A University of Glamorgan graduate, who secured a job as Rugby Development Officer in
Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates Rugby Association (UAERA), will be responsible for
developing a competitive rugby sevens team to enter the Rio Olympics in 2016.
29 year-old Tom Hatfield, who is originally from the Wirral, graduated from Glamorgan
in July 2011 with a BSc Sports Science and Rugby degree.
Tom’s objectives are to increase rugby participation within the Emirati population,
with a vision of having a competitive team to enter the Asian Games in 2014, and
ultimately, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Both stipulate that only UAE passport
holders can compete. Tom and his colleagues have started a Men’s Emirati-only 7s team
called ‘UAE Shaheen’, a team which Tom has been coaching since he arrived in Abu Dhabi in
Tom said: “Undoubtedly overseas work placements organised by the University gave me
the all important life experiences, additional knowledge, expertise and confidence to look
much further afield when applying for jobs.
“Working here is great, although it’s far too hot to do much rugby during the summer,
right now it is 47C, with lows of 34C at night. My role is quite varied: my main task is
to grow the game within the Emirati population. That involves working in schools, clubs,
youth centres and colleges. I also work within the expat schools and expat population
where rugby is well established. I have been involved with the national squads and I have
helped coach the Emirati only 7s team (the Shaheen) and I am currently coaching the UAE
Ladies national 7s squad in preparation for our trip to India to play in the Asian
Rugby sevens will be included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in
2016 after the International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted to include the
sport during an executive board meeting in 2009.
Jenna Hopkinson, +44-1443-482486
SOURCE University of Glamorgan