Richmond rugby standout Nathan Hirayama is among 18 players who have received carded athlete status to be part of the Canadian Sevens program that will be preparing for the 2013-14 IRB Sevens World Series.
Based out of Langford's Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence and Canadian Sport Centre Pacific, Canada's full-time training environment includes: technical and tactical support through world-class coaching, nutritional support including breakfast and lunch most training days, medical and strength and conditioning support, video analysis and sport psychology.
The centralized athletes are allocated Sport Canada AAP cards, whereby each carded player receives financial support to enable them to commit to the daily training environment necessary for them to be competitive on the world stage. Carded players will also receive tuition support to attend post-secondary education throughout the year or after their rugby careers have finished.
Hirayama, 25, enjoyed an outstanding high school career with the McRoberts Strikers where he was coached by his father Gary -a one time national team player himself. He continued his career at the University of Victoria and at the club level with the B.C. Bears.
Canada's National Men's Sevens Team, coached by Geraint John, competed in all nine events on the IRB Sevens World Series, finishing 12th and re-qualifying as a core team for next year's circuit. 2012-2013 Season highlights include winning the Plate and Bowl championships in Las Vegas and New Zealand respectively and Plate runner-up finishes in Hong Kong and Dubai. Canada also finished the recent Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow with a 5-1 record to capture the Plate Championship.
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