The Madiba Project, that started in 2011 with the purpose of bringing the rugby values into the jail comunity, was invited to participate in the International Madrid Sevens Tournament, but only 3 inmates qualified to receive a special permission to leave the prison for the day. Therefore, IE Rugby Club joined the inmates from Madiba Project to attend the tournament as mixed IE-Madiba team. More information about the tournament can be found HERE .
The IE Rugby club was very happy to share this experience with the inmates, so 10 players of IE joined the tournament.
“We were playing group C of the tournament”, Jaime Sanjuan, one of the club coordinators told Campus Life, “a very difficult one, since we were playing against two Division de Honor teams (Spanish first division) and the Madrid Region Team.
The first game was at 10 am, against Cisneros Rugby Club, and was lost by 30-0. A bad start but instead of losing morale, the Madiba-IE team kept their heads up and fought hard to improve the situation. It was clear that as a new team, we lacked the experience of having played together before.
The second game was much better, against Getxo Rugby. We lost by only 2 points due to a lost ball in the last second of the game. A real pity, since we had been winning during the whole game. The win may have slipped through our fingers, but the good game we showed left a good taste in our mouths.
The third game, against Madrid Region Team, was decisive, we needed a win to pass the groups phase into the play offs. Unfortunately we could not win this one either. We fought hard but were defeated 10-15. So, we did not qualify for the play offs.
But taking in account the high level of our competitors and our lack of experience as a team, we were very happy with the result. We surprised the public by fighting hard and as a real team, where our origins didn’t matter, just the amount of heart and passion we put into the game.
We enjoyed a good Rugby day and an amazing experience, where we showed that our diversity and commitment to the game make us stronger in our minds and better citizens of this global village.”