By Adrian Krupa:
Hello from Provo!
Immediately after landing in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, I had a chance to meet many people in the rugby community at the monthly executive meeting. I was quickly accepted with warm welcomes, and met many of the coaches, players, and management of Turks and Caicos Islands Rugby Football Union (TCIRFU).
Throughout the first few weeks I met more and more people involved with the club. I got to meet a lot of the sponsors at the Sponsorship Appreciation Night, where the sponsors got to see how their contributions are making an impact on the local children.
During my first week I got very familiar with the island as I was driving the Rugby Van and visiting schools. At first I was a little worried, because cars drive on the left hand side. Keith, the president of TCIRFU and my boss, gave me a piece of advice that really helped me. He told me, “the left side is the right, and the right side is suicide”. My meetings with School Principals and Physical Education (PE) teachers were a success, and I was also able to reach out to schools that never had a rugby program.
In November the National Men’s and Women’s Teams will be travelling to Trinidad and Tobago to compete in a North American Caribbean Rugby association (NACRA) Sevens Tournament. To see how the teams are performing I began participating in practices, which take place on Monday and Wednesday nights.
TCIRFU also hosts games for the Co-ed Tag Rugby League held on Thursday nights. I have been recruited by the Unicorns of Doom team. Even though we play for fun, games can still get competitive and could include some friendly trash talking.
Saturdays, I coach and train Youth Rugby with the help of the previous Youth Rugby Officer, Tom. The first few weeks we saw many of the same children, but after promoting Youth Rugby at schools we have seen a lot more new players. Now Saturdays have over 60 children participating. Soon we will be making 6 teams and creating a schedule for the season.
My free time on the weekends is spent enjoying the sites and beaches of the island. I have a weekly routine called Snorkel Sunday. I try to see different reefs each week. My Snorkel Sunday adventures have featured many different types of fish, my personal favourite yellow tail snappers, sea turtles, stingrays, barracudas, and puffer fish.
I am looking forward to the next month on the island and all the experiences I will soon encounter.