Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Dubai 7's

A 7's Tournament ad that I thought did a great job of representing the different tournament venues.

There is a bible verse that includes the saying, "And a child shall lead them." -Isaiah 11:6. One of the perks of having children is that they continue to lead me toward different experiences that I may not have stumbled across on my own, case in point, the sport rugby.

Both of my children joined the Muscat Junior Pirates Rugby Club at the suggestion of a friend over a year ago. Being part of the Junior Pirate Rugby Club community has been one of the highlights for my family and I during our time in Muscat. The Junior Pirate Rugby community for one is welcoming and very diverse. The nationalities represented in the club include: New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans, British, Scottish, French, Indian, Canadians, Americans, and others. This wide ranging representation truly illustrates rugby's global reach. It has been gratifying for me to see my children exposed to a new sport, enjoy it, achieve a level of success in it, and for me to learn a new sport as well. Miles loves rugby! It has quickly become one of his favorite sports, but also important, he enjoys the camaraderie of his teammates as much as the sport itself.

Through the rugby club, I heard about the annual Dubai Rugby 7's Tournament. The 7's Tournament as many people simply call it was described to me as, "A huge party with rugby matches surrounding it." And I must admit, the Dubai 7's Tournament pretty much followed that description. What is the Rubgy 7's? It is a smaller and faster 7 a side version of the traditional 15 person a side rugby union game. The Rugby 7's will make it's Olympic debut at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Miles and Evan enjoying the African drumming exhibit.

Once we found out that we had a holiday weekend the same weekend as the 7's Tournament, we purchased two day passes (Children under 12 were free), loaded up the car, made the 5hr. drive to Dubai, stayed with friends and embarked on a weekend in which we did not know what we would be getting ourselves into. Isn't that half the fun?!

Some guys in elaborately silly costumes recreating the characters from the movie Anchorman.
The Dubai 7's Stadium complex is a ways outside of downtown Dubai. Miles feels a connection to this complex because he participated in his first rugby tournament in this complex a year ago. What immediately struck me upon arriving at the complex other than the rain (Yes, it was raining in Dubai and we experienced a torrential downpour later that day) were all the people and that many of them were in costumes. I didn't know that the 7's tournament was also a big costume party? People were dressed in costumes that ranged from silly to elaborate to elaborately silly and were ready to have a good time.

A South African and Welsh fan getting down to some African drumming
Around 100,000 people attended the two day event and they came ready to represent their countries.

I loved seeing and hearing the Kenyan fans represent their teams with elaborate drumming, dancing, and singing. At the complex, beverages were flowing at the vast beer garden, a variety of food was on hand, and many games and exhibitions for children and families. And a lot of fast paced and exciting rugby action. My family and I quickly became fans of the New Zealand women's 7's squad, very impressive!

Some members of the New Zealand Women's 7's Team.

All in all, it was a fun and very memorable weekend. As my friend Candice Crouch likes to say, "Be open to all possibilities." Hopefully, next year we can make it to the 7's Tournament in Hong Kong. Said to be the big 7's tournament!

The stands were packed all weekend long.

1 comment:

Dick said...

Sounds like you had a great family outing. The boys are becoming quite international. Dick