Rugby players are Fiji’s ambassadors

Rugby players are Fiji's ambassadors says Fiji's ambassador in Brussels, Deo Saran. Picture: PAULINE KOYAMAIBOLE

FIJI’S ambassador to Brussels, Deo Saran has praised our sevens rugby teams for promoting Fiji.

Saran is in Paris to support the national teams and attended a fundraising dinner for the teams on Saturday.

“Fiji is getting recognised around the world through rugby,” Saran said.

He added that rugby players played important roles in whichever country they were in because they were ambassadors of Fiji.

In the 2016-17 season, the year after the Rio Olympics massive crowds attended tournaments in cities including Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and London.

The total attendance over the 10 rounds increased by almost ten per cent, to 734,000 fans, World Rugby said.

Total social media community reached 120 million across multiple languages as the series broadcast to a global TV audience in over 100 countries.

World Rugby also estimated that the sevens rugby fan-base increased by almost 17 million people in six key territories and as much as an estimated 30 million worldwide.

On social media, World Rugby announced:

  • @WorldRugby7s audience engagment grew by almost 50% over the season, while video views increased by 15 per cent to 68.5 million, driven by Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat as sevens inspired a new generation.
  • With World Rugby operating in four languages, the Spanish and French audiences grew to almost 150,000 fans on Instagram, representing over 20 per cent of the total following.
  • Sevens geographic reach extended to more than 200 countries and regions with the Japanese language site increasing traffic by more than 50, per cent during the season.

The impact of our sevens teams in the global stage is huge.

As Saran says, he is always proud that wherever he goes, he is asked where he is from.

And when he says he is from Fiji, people always refer to Fijians as the king of sevens rugby.