Semiahmoo Old Boys Cuba Outreach Tour April 2013 Report
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2013
by Ian Stagg

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I am glad to be able report that the tour exceeded all its objectives and expectations by raising some $13,000 plus dollars made up from selling advertising in the tour program, sponsorship of tour kit and donations.  In addition to this direct donations of kit and equipment of equal value were also received. 

The money being raised was used to purchase a large amount of kit and equipment as follows:
A.    80 assorted sizes of rugby boots.
B.    80 pairs of rugby socks.
C.    140 boot bags with tour logo.
D.    150 assorted sizes of `T` shirts with tour logo.
E.    12 String bags to containing the following.
1.    12 referees whistles at one per bag.
2.    12 double action hand pumps at one per bag.
3.    300 training cones at 25 per bag.

and transport them, plus the donated kit and equipment to Cuba as follows:

A.    3 sets of rugby shirts.
B.    4 sets of rugby shorts
C.    3 sets of rugby socks
D.    Large amount of assorted sizes `T` shirts.
E.    100 rugby balls of which 6/8 of each were put into the 12 string bags.
F.    40 assorted sizes of protective bodyware.

The kit and equipment was used in the two coaching/outreach sesions before each of our two games and at the coaching/outreach sesion at the school, after which it was distributed and the remaining kit and equipment was given to Rugby Cuba to distribute amongst other clubs and schools. In addition to the Rugby kit and equipment, a large amount of school supplies were also purchased as follows:-
A.    60 Pencile sharpeners.
B.    60 Erasers.
C.    60 Notepads.

Plus donated school supplies as follows:
A.    60 solar powered calculators.
B.    500 Art pads.
C.    1,000 Penciles. which were distributed at the coaching/outreach session at the school.

In addition to the above the following items were also donated and distributed.
A.    75 Toothbrushes.
B.    75 Tubes of toothpaste.
C.    Large amount of soaps.
D.    Large amount of shampoos.

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The coaching/training sessions before the two games and at the school were well attended and enthusiastcally received by a mixture of approximatley 50 boys, girls,  young men and women.  There were two completely different sets at each session and the session at the school saw approximatley 30 boys and girls plus 8/10 men from the local Rugby team, so we managed to coach and train some 100 plus individuals in total.

The first game was against Havana Rugby Club which comprised most of their national side and although we had a good game and managed to hold them in close play once they broke through we could not match there speed and they scored some 7 plus tries, however we did manage to score once.

The second game was against Indios Caribe, who were the first rugby club to be formed in Cuba.  They were therefore a little older than their counterparts in the Havana Rugby Club, but still younger than us. It was a very spirited and good game with play flowing back and forth, however we managed to come out victorious with a final score of 6 to 5.

The hosting after the two games, or 3rd half as the Cubans call it, which we sponsored, was very entertaining and a lot of new friends were made.  We also presented each team with a full size Canadian flag signed by all of the team, plus an SOB club ball to their man of the match and a plaque comemerating our visit.  The tour made a big impact not just for the Cubans, but also for the tour members and several have pledged to returned to further assist Cuba Rugby.

In addition to this we are going to twin with Indios Caribe and are looking of a suitable school to do the same with the school `Pedro Latigua` which is a primary school for boys and girls aged 9-12 situated in the village of Boca De Camarioca, which is in the district of Matanzas. If this is successful we will be looking to promote further twinning between like clubs and schools in Canada and Cuba.

Yours in Rugby.
Ian C. Stagg, Tour Director                   

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