We are a few days away from the HSBC France Women's Sevens in Biarritz, the last tournament of the season, and we are very happy because it is the European tournament and close to Spain, where we obviously like playing, allowing friends and family to come to support us.
Although the French round has been played in Clermont-Ferrand and Paris previously, it has now shifted to the Basque Coast and I think will make it a very, very good tournament. It is a region embedded with rugby tradition and it should be great.
I played in France a few years ago, at Longes and Bordeaux, living very close to Biarritz, so I am very much looking forward to being back and seeing all those who I shared my time and rugby with.
| 🖐🏿 R U G B Y L I B R E |
🔜 Planes de futuro para el proyecto social Rugby Libre, sumergido en los valores humanos; humildad, respeto y pasión.
👣 Dejando huellas de esfuerzo, entrega e igualdad, pasos necesarios para alcanzar la libertad. @rugbylibre
📷 @aljazbabnik pic.twitter.com/IXzxDblrwW — Patricia GARCIA (@PGR_RUGBY) May 20, 2019
As always, we have a tough pool as games on the Women's Sevens Series are all tough, but we are looking forward to the challenges of the final round of the series.
We have Canada, Australia and Ireland in our pool. It has been another strong season for Canada and Australia, with the Canadians winning in Japan and Australia as defending Olympic champions, so they are difficult opponents.
In terms of Ireland, it is a direct clash as we are a month away from the European Olympic qualifier and although we really like them off the field, it will be an interesting game.
Leaving a legacy
Mathematically, we are not yet ensured of a place in next season’s series, but the points difference means that a good tournament will get us our stated goal for the season that was to remain as a core team.
At least, we are not in the stressful position of previous seasons, but we want to continue growing in order to stay in the series.
We must work hard to leave a legacy for the girls that are coming through, in which the national team can compete at international level, something that is very important for Spain.
We have the Olympic qualifier in Kazan on 13-14 July, which doubles as the European Championship. It will be a very, very tough tournament as Europe has many good teams, such as Russia, France, Ireland, Great Britain and Spain. Hopefully, one of them can get to the Games through the series, France have it tough to do that though.
This means that fighting for that one place at Tokyo 2020, and two in the Olympic repechage, will be very tough, more so knowing that some of the teams will be not making it through.
| D O C U M E N T A L @rugbylibre 🎬|— Patricia GARCIA (@PGR_RUGBY) May 20, 2019
Hoy he tenido el honor de presentar en la sede del Comité Olímpico Español el capítulo piloto de la serie documental "Rugby Libre: un proyecto para cambiar el mundo." 🎥🖐🏿 pic.twitter.com/xsWuUAhwDB
We have been working very hard at altitude for 20 days at the High Performance Centre in Sierra Nevada, Granada, before coming to Biarritz. We hope the 50 training sessions in 20 days, added to our work during the season, will bring rewards at the end of the season.
I am also delighted that right after the tournament in Langford I managed to present the pilot episode of my project “Rugby Libre - un proyecto para cambiar el mundo” (Free Rugby – a project to change the world). It is a project I devote to during my holidays with a working group, touring different countries, sharing education through values using rugby, promoting social and positive transformation through rugby.
It is seeing how people, thanks to rugby, have radically changed their lives or have received values in education that their own situations have not offered them, and how rugby has helped. That is my passion and I want to produce a documentary with each Rugby Libre tour, sharing the stories from the project and how rugby can help society.
The event was very good and it was staged at the Spanish Olympic Committee, in the presence of the Spanish Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco, television personalities, key people from the Education Ministry, the Spanish Federation, the National Sports Council, other government departments and sponsors. Hopefully more companies and charities will want to be involved with our project and support it.
World Rugby, through its with its Get Into Rugby programme, have also been assisting this project since 2016, something that also makes me happy.
Photo: Aljaz Babnik