The esteemed Singapore Cricket Club held its 70th annual international Rugby 7s tournament SCC 7s over the weekend. This year, the 2nd oldest ongoing 7s tournament in the world (after Melrose) brought together much of the Singapore rugby community.
Over 1,500 age group players from local academies and schools played in age group qualifier competitions – mini rugby, touch rugby and 7’s – competing for places in the finals scheduled in the senior tournament programme on Sunday 5th November.
Several up and coming match officials from Asia Rugby Unions were given the opportunity to upskill and test their mettle in top level competition.
This is just one example of how the tournament continues its mission of supporting player, match official and medical support development in the island state and across the region.
However, it was the tournaments newest addition, a wheelchair rugby match between Singapore and Indonesia, featuring female and male players, which reminded everyone how inclusive rugby can be.
This match was part of a wider regional tournament that was being held in Singapore at the same time.
It appears that wheelchair rugby is slowly gaining support in the region with teams in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Timor-Leste and with plans for a domestic competition in the Philippines.
The skills of the players and the physicality of the game kept the SCC spectators on edge, with Indonesia ultimately winning. It was heartening as well to see players from the participating teams from the main competition, such as Palmyra and Tribe 7s from Australia come along and cheer both teams. Some of the players even stayed behind and gave wheelchair rugby a try.
Two of the Indonesian players have been given the opportunity to train with the New South Wales wheelchair rugby squad in Australia later this year, creating further opportunities for the players and helping to grow the game.