Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sabah tourism boon via rugby events

Kota Kinabalu: The hosting of the Asian Rugby 7s, Borneo 7s and Asia Pacific Women 7s here recently put Malaysia on the world's calender event for rugby.

"It augured well for Malaysia's sports tourism", Sabah Rugby Union President and organiser Velayuthan Tan.

He said the three-in-one rugby bonanza saw some 600 foreign delegates fly in and contribute to Sabah's tourist receipts in hotel accommodation, dining-in at restaurants, shopping for souvenirs at malls and taxi services plying routes leading to the Likas Stadium.

Tan said past editions of the Borneo 7s, had attracted world-renowned teams from Australia, Fiji, the UK, New Zealand, Samoa and South Africa.

On the outlook for rugby sports in Malaysia, Tan said his plan for the next three years is to earn the confidence of the iRB and AFRU for Kota Kinabalu to host annual satellite events.

Sabah Rugby Union aims to attract more world-class teams to Malaysia.

In the longer-term plan, it wants to bid for the privilege to host the Rugby World Cup 7s and put Malaysia on the world's rugby calender.

He also said by hosting such events, local fans get the opportunity to watch the game at international level and gain an insight into the intricacies and excitement of rugby.

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