FEBRUARY 11 - RUGBY SEVENS efforts to get into Olympic programme for the 2016 has received a boost with getting provisional approval for inclusion on the programme of the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC).
The sport now has three months to fulfil the criteria set down by the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CASCO) at its general assembly in Veracruz, Mexico, to confirm its participation in the Games to be held in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
These include presenting the CASCO with a list of a minimum of 16 Central American and Caribbean Rugby Unions who are members of their respective National Olympic Committees.
The sport has also been included on the programme for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
It was already part of the programme at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Larry Romany ,along with his secretary-general Brian Lewis attended the meeting.
Romany said that the pending inclusion of rugby sevens in the CAC Games is a timely boost for the sport in the region.
He, however, called on the West Indies Rugby Union (WIRU) and the North America and West Indies Rugby Association (NAWIRA) to step up its efforts to popularize the sport in the region.
Romany said: '"Rugby 7s has an opportunity through its inclusion on both the Pan Am and CAC Games programme to enhance its status in the Americas region.
"I encourage the international, regional and national rugby bodies to grab the opportunity with both hands."
Romany believes that the Caribbean is well poised to contest for rugby 7s medals at both the CAC and Pan Am Games.
Rugby is one of seven sports hoping to be chosen to be part of the Olympics in 2016.
The others are baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, squash and softball.
The International Olympic Committee is due to make a decision at its Session in Copenhagen in October.