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Friday, August 26, 2011

Diving and Rugby in Sharm El Sheikh

There have been a few events in Sinai Red Sea which have occurred on October 6th.
Sinking of SS Thistlegorm 6th Oct 1941. Must be one of the most dived wrecks in the World.
Egypt declared War on Israel to win back the Sinai. 6th Oct 1973.
Sharm RFC was formed. 6th Oct 2010.

Rugby playing Divers.

From left to right Elite Divings' rugby members.
Alec Jones, Alun Evans, Waleed Alshman, Alan Westley.

Sharm EL Sheikh resort has always been known for its world class diving since early 1980’s. Things haven't changed there. What has changed is what some of the diving and other fraternities do in their spare time.
6th October 2011 saw the 1st anniversary of Sharm Sharks RFC.

The team has gone from strength to strength by attracting more and more players, all eager to train and practice the game on a Monday and Wednesday evening after work, to fight for their place on the team, and to take on other Egyptian and touring teams. There is now even a dedicated ladies rugby evening on Sundays.
It has brought together the community and it’s an electric atmosphere and a great night out supporting Sharm Sharks on match nights. If your coming to Sharm on a diving holiday, find out if your there during a match day. Even if you’re not a keen rugby watcher, you will be moved at the whole event.
Elite Diving, in Sharm EL Sheikh, boasts four active members of the Sharm Sharks RFC first team.
The first game of this season was against Alexandria Eagles on 19th August, with an emphatic win. The final score being 20 - 0 to the Sharm Sharks. The season starts in ernest in October and on Sharms second game they ran out victorius 28 - 8 agains Old Alssonians from Cairo. The next home match is on November 16th against the strong Cairo RFC. It will be a test of Sharm Sharks progress.

Alec Jones, Elite Diving’s assistant manager, learnt to dive with the Camarthen Branch of BSAC where his father was Diving Officer. During the recent game, he played open side flanker, and also main jumper in the line outs. He used to play at his comprehensive school but haven’t done so for almost 9 years until coming back to work for Elite in Sharm after a few years out of diving. We are not saying that due to Sharm starting a rugby team that Alec decided to get back into diving here, but we know it was a big bonus for him. He is a very popular member of the club and is affectionately known as “Dimple” among the ladies team.
Alec won vital clean lineout ball in the last game, and was a destructive tackler in the loose play. His fitness level has improved tremendously since the end of last season, due to many fitness sessions at the gym, and by attending the pre season training. He hails from Llanelli in South Wales, a hot bed for Welsh rugby.

Alun Evans, Elite Diving’s Owner and senior instructor, learnt to dive with Port Talbot Branch of BSAC but was an active member of Ogwr BSAC shortly after where he dived for many years. Alun would love to been playing on the field, but due to his senior years, has undertaken a roll where he can be of most benefit to the team. Alun joined the club from its inception, and during the training sessions, showed his experience (all be it in short bursts) gained from many years of playing rugby (in-between his diving of course) in the South Wales valleys for Maesteg Celtic, until his late 30’s, he also represented Boys Clubs of Wales Under 19 when he says they beat England Under 19’s convincingly home and away for the two consecutive years he played for them!
At the start of this season, Alun was asked by the committee of Sharm R.F.C. to be head coach of the Sharm Sharks, so he can pass on to the up and coming players of Sharm, the knowledge he has gained, and also his love and enthusiasm that he has for the game. His rugby club nickname is Busby.

Waleed Elsham Elite Diving’s operational manager (those of you who have dived with Elite Diving in Sharm will now him well). Waleed learn't to dive with Elite Diving in Sharm El SHeikh.

Waleed earned the title of Man of the Match for the game agains Alexandria Eagles. You can see Waleed in the photo above, sporting the man of the match crown. Waleed was only introduced to the game of rugby last February, but soon took to it and has learned the basics very quickly. He has become a vital player for the team and can switch easily from the front row to back row showing natural strength, speed and agility. His tackling is fearless during all the games he has played, and his work rate on the field was immense, enabling him to be in a position to snuff out many attacks by the opposition and also was always on hand to support his own team players while going forward. His tireless work rate, tackiling and skilful running, was a big factor in winning the Man of The Match award. He is known to his team mates as Wally.

Alan Westley, one of Elite Diving’s Open Water Instructors, had played mostly soccer, but also previously played rugby league, to which he has been ribbed about it since joining Sharm Sharks R.F.C. last November. Alan is developing into a useful No 8, with good ball skills and hand eye co-ordination. He loves cover talking and also has had some stampeding runs down the centre of the field, bowling defending players over. His ball winning in the line outs, were also influential in winning the last game. The black eye he sports in the photo above was due to a clash of heads with his own scrum half. Alan is club vice-captain of Sharm Sharks and his nickname in the club is “Flower”!!

Come and join us.

If any diver or non diver, man or women, wishes to join Sharm Sharks during their training evenings while on holiday here in Sharm, they are most welcome to do so. There is a training fee of £1.50 per night which goes to pay for the rental of the ground and flood lights.

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Who let the Sharks Out? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who?


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