Rubgy may not be the first sport that comes to mind when one thinks of sports tourism in Barbados.
Nevertheless the sport is playing its part to promote the island in this realm and the publicity continues as the Barbados Rugby Football Union hosts a visiting Canadian rugby club, Balmy Beach, for two friendly internationals. The first fixture will see a rare Sunday afternoon match, on April 27 , as the action kicks off at 4:30pm at the home of Bajan rugby, the Garrison Savannah. On Friday May 2, the action will be under the lights, in the relative cool after sunset at the same venue.
Balmy Beach are based on the shores of Lake Ontario, in eastern Toronto and have a long and varied history going back over 100 years. They are no strangers to Barbados, having visited on a number of occasions.
The Bajan players are using these matches to hone the skills they will need in the upcoming NACRA Championships. Spectators will also have the opportunity to see some of the local players who will be representing their country in Rugby Sevens at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Several of the players also took part in the prestigious Hong Kong Games last month.
Barbados are currently rated No.2 in the region, behind perennial archrivals Trinidad and Tobago. The Balmy Beach team is expected to give the local men a good run out and allow the watching coaches and selectors to evaluate their performance, with an eye to the high profile tournaments to come in the next few months.
The BRFU typically hosts several visiting clubs each year, as Barbados is a popular rugby tour destination.