The Dubai Wasps have been through some turbulent times, but this weekend the club will field 2 sides again since their almost collapse a season ago, when the team was down to less than 20 players.
Now have 60+ registered and the Wasps club have made a remarkable comeback from a period that saw them fined 10,000 dh by the Federation, lost their ladies team to the sharks, lost their 2nd team and their major sponsor, to a club with now 2 senior mens teams, a revitalised ladies section, and a thriving Netball section with 4 teams.
Vice Chairman Ben Rothwell exclaims: “We are really proud of what the club has become. Its no secret that we struggled off the pitch last season due to financial pressures, and couple that with relegation to the Conference meant we lost some established players to other teams”. Many went to the Dubai Exiles who went on to win the league).
Ben continues: “Mike Pugsley has been a steady influence throughout and has really helped myself and (Chairman) Laurence navigate the tricky waters, the lads have responded to his coaching and it’s easy to see why he is so highly rated in the game, he simplifies rugby and gives us real structure and clarity”.
“Our new sponsors coming on board have added tremendous value as well” adds Ben. “Velocity FITNESS are new to the region but aiming to make big waves with their training programs and it is already paying off for us in the team”. “The Rose and Crown, Interact Group and Mediclinic have all been fantastic, financially supporting us and helping us achieve our ambitions”.
Ben leaves the players to last but says: “Most of all I really proud of all members of the club. From the 60+ senior lads we now have (up from 20 at the beginning of last year) to the 20+ ladies (some new to the game, loving rugby) and the netball section which has really taken off with nearly 50 girls enrolled”.
The Dubai Wasps brand has resurfaced and reignited with some purpose. It will be a big week for the club’s 2 teams, and a great success story for the popularity of the game in the UAE.