USA Rugby and the USOC are expected to announce next week some details about how the national 7s teams will be supported in 2012.
It’s quite possible that both the men’s and women’s 7s teams will be able to start residency programs as early as January.
Most likely this would mean players could move to the San Diego area, living in private housing that they pay for. There are housing units around Chula Vista, the site of the Olympic Training Center, where other USA Olympic teams live.
Players would then train regularly at the OTC, and receive their meals there. They would also receive a small stipend. The combination of training and equipment and meals support, along with the stipend, might be enough for some players to support themselves without any additional jobs. Players with families might have to look at augmented sources of income.
None of this is confirmed yet, but what is certain is that the US Olympic Committee will be taking steps very soon to provide financial and other support to the USA 7s teams – both men and women – prior to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Previously, the official stance had been that sports competing in the 2016 games wouldn’t get full consideration until after London 2012. However, in a recent interview with RUGBYMag,com, USOC head of team sports performance, Wes Barnett, hinted strongly that earlier support would be forthcoming (Premier Members have access to this article).
Then last week on RuggaMatrix America, USA 7s team captain Shalom Suniula indicated that he would be moving to San Diego – something USA 7s team Head Coach Al Caravelli, who has bought an apartment in the area – had been hoping his players would do.