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FORMER NATIONAL female rugby standout Kwanieze John began her official tenure as North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) project manager by assisting coaches of the National Sports Council in Barbados with the region’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) programme on Friday and Saturday.

John, who was appointed to the position just over a week ago, will now implement her many years of on-field competitive experience into the further development of regional teams. Her primary responsibility will be NACRA’s GIR programme, assisting countries with their efforts to increase participation, the coordination of NACRA’s strategies related to women and girls in the sport and to and help with other NACRA initiatives.

NACRA president Dennis Dwyer praised the fraternity’s newest staff member, and credited John for her impeccable work ethic.

“This was a very encouraging selection process, with many impressive applicants from around the world,” said Dwyer. “We are very pleased that such a strong candidate came out of Trinidad and Tobago. Kwanieze’s lengthy experience in rugby, as a coach, as a Youth Development Officer with the TTRFU (Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union), and as a regional Get Into Rugby instructor has prepared her well for the position. We are proud to have recruited her talents to benefit NACRA and its members.”

Prior to her appointment, John has worked for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), and was Chef de Mission for Team TT at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China last year.

NACRA’s Regional Development officer Scott Harland was also excited about the new hire. “As a NACRA Get Into Rugby instructor, Kwanieze has already helped us bring rugby to the countries of St Kitts/Nevis and Antigua/Barbuda, where it hadn’t existed before.

Kwanieze’s experience with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee is particularly valuable at this stage of our sport’s evolution. Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport are contagious, and I expect that she will make a profound impact on the region.” Since her April 1 confirmation as project manager, John, alongside a able-bodied Caribbean team, has been working assiduously towards increasing the awareness of rugby throughout the archipelago of islands.

“Sport has always played a major role in my life, and rugby specifically has had significant influence on my character.

I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to help grow this great sport and share all that it offers with young people across the Caribbean,” said John.

The former national player will be based at home in TT and can be reached at kjohn@nacrugby.com.

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