Women’s rugby coach turns table
One day after his girls quit on him, Martin Varga more than repaid them in kind.
Barbados women’s rugby is short a signal-caller for the time being after its head coach stunningly announced his resignation just minutes before the local side took the pitch on Sunday at the just concluded DHL NACRA Sevens International Tournament.
Citing a lack of dedication from his players, Varga’s shocking departure directly followed the aquamarine and gold’s dismal performance on the opening day of the championships, where the hosts went scoreless in all four of their losses on Saturday.
“Sevens is all about fitness, so they have to be committed to a fitness programme and committed to working hard. But they’re Bajans, so they think it is their God-given right to go out on the pitch and do their thing,” Varga reasoned.
“At this level it just doesn’t work like that. [So] I called it a day this [Sunday] morning because the girls have been listening to the wrong people and now they’ve all got their own opinion on things so they want to get on with it.
“It’s up to them [now] though. If they want to get better, they have to train harder and be more enthusiastic about training and not just talk about it. [But] they can do it without me,” he added.
The English-born coach is the third sports official in as many months to suggest that the country’s “laid-back” culture and the resulting attitude of its athletes are to blame for Barbados’ well-publicized failures on the international arena.
Back in September, National Sports Council direcor Erskine King made a near identical statement on Voice of Barbados’ Brass Tacks programme by reasoning the country’s athletes lack the necessary will and determination.
And the Barbados Olympic Association’s Glyne Clarke echoed King’s comments on the same radio show, saying that these athletes’ poor attitudes are clearly shown up on major tours like the Commonwealth and the Central American and Caribbean Games.
Drawn in Pool “B”, Barbados’ women slumped to tough 10-0 and 5-0 defeats to St Lucia and Mexico, respectively, after torrential rains turned the pitch into a virtual swamp.
But the hosts surrendered meekly in their remaining opening day fixtures, falling 22-0 to USA South before taking a 39-0 hammering from Guyana.
“To be fair, they didn’t win a game [on Saturday] because of the atrocious conditions,” admitted Varga.
“The rain came down and created a waterlogged pitch and they just couldn’t adapt and deal with it. There were a couple of matches that were winnable but we just didn’t have the commitment. There’s no commitment, no passion, no real love for the game.”
The girls did eventually rebound on the ensuing day by exacting revenge on St Lucia in a 12-0 victory before holding on for a 5-5 draw against Guadeloupe to finish ninth in the 11-team table.
“They will see how much work is done in the background that they don’t know about and they will realize very, very quickly where they are in relation to what they put out,” Varga advanced.