Glamorgan Graduate Developing Rugby Sevens Team for 2016 Olympics

Aug 08, 2012, 07:37 ET from University of Glamorgan

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 April.

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 Championship."

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