This tournament had it's roots with the 2009 Alba Games which included some 2500 athletes, coaches and officials from 33 countries competing in 25 sports. Five men's teams ( Mexican National Team , Cuban National Team , Cuban International Sporting School, Gramma Provincial Team and hte Dog River Howlers) participated in the rugby competition played in Jiguani, Gramma, Cuba ( http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.78395496253.90701.514726253&l=138348a195). Former Canadian National Rugby Team captain Mark Wyatt who was on the Howlers coaching staff said this about his Cuban experience - "through many tour experiences I have had the good fortune of being exposed to a tremendous range of cultures. Without prejudice I can state that this was the best of all that makes our game so special – a memory I will cherish."
The first Havana Howlers 7's Rugby Tournament(http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.351561556253.160822.514726253&l=571e118305 ) was played in Feb. 27 and 28 and included 12 teams from 7 countries including the national teams from Cuba, Venezuela Mexico and Peru. The 2011 edition ( http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150396097811254.347573.514726253&&l=986eeb32f1 made history when the newly formed Cuban National Women's team played there first ever games against the the Dog River Howlers and USA's Atlantis teams in the expanded women's divsion
The tournament awards came about after the Howlers conferred the Director General of Cuban Rugby Chukin Chao and we decided for the most part to name the various awards for the Havana Howlers 7's Rugby Tournament after the heroes of their country. The one exception was the the women's MVP which was named after an American - Emil Signes a disciple of the game if there ever was one who has had a history of promoting and developing rugby (most recently especially women's) around the world and including his birth place Cuba. Alberto Granado who the men's MVP trophy was named after I had the great honor of meeting and chatting with about rugby and his times with close friend Che (especially about his now famous 'Motor Cycle Diaries" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u0U3dbVMHk ) on numerous occasions before he passed away lin 2011 .He was not only Cuban hero but he actually also played rugby with his fellow Argentinian - the iconic Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
This years tournament( Dec. 1 & 2) will have men's and women's teams from 8 countries.
Alberto Granado Award
Men's MVP of the Havana Howlers Rugby 7's
Trofeo Alberto Granado
JMV (jugador mas valioso) del Torneo de Rugby Habana Howlers 7's
Alberto Granado (August 8, 1922 – March 5, 2011) was an Argentine–Cuban biochemist, doctor, writer, and scientist. He was also the youthful friend and traveling companion of revolutionary Che Guevara during their 1952 trip around Latin America, and later founded the Santiago School of Medicine in Cuba. He authored the memoir Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary, which served as a reference for the 2004 film The Motorcycle Diaries (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u0U3dbVMHk ), in which he was played by Rodrigo de la Serna. In 1943, Granado took part in the political protests against General Juan Perón and was jailed for one year. During this time he came across Ernesto Guevara (who was not yet nicknamed "Che") after Guevara's family moved to Córdoba in the hope that the mountain air would ameliorate Ernesto's asthma.The two first met when Guevara accompanied Granado's brother Tomás (whom he went to school with), on a visit to the police cells to see Granado. Guevara soon joined a rugby team that Granado had organized once released. Although Granado was six years older than Guevara, they shared literary and political interests, combined with a romantic enthusiasm for foreign travel. The two soon became close friends, sharing "an intellectual curiosity, a mischievous sense of humor and a restive desire to explore their continent. So between December 29, 1951 and July 1952, Granado embarked on a tour of South America on his beloved Norton 500cc motorcycle --Poderosa II — with his friend Che Guevara. Both kept diaries on the journey, and would stay at the leprosarium in San Pablo, Peru at trip's end. Throughout their continental excursion, they witnessed first hand the poverty of disenfranchised native peoples and their frequent lack of access to otherwise cheap and basic medical care.Their encounters with South America's "downtrodden and exploited" such as the migrant sheep shearers, copper miners, and Indian peasantry were a key influence on both their lives. Granado's journey ended in Caracas, Venezuela, where he remained to work at the Cabo Blanco leprosarium in Maiquetía. Guevara however continued on to Miami before returning home to Buenos Aires to complete his medical degree. The two men did not meet again for eight years, by which time Guevara was a hero of Fidel Castro's 1959 Cuban Revolution . After the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Granado was invited to Havana by Guevara, who for all intents and purposes had risen to become second-in-command under Fidel Castro.Thus in 1960, Granado visited Cuba for the first time on Guevara's invitation. A year later, he moved there with his family to take up a post as professor of biochemistry at the School of Medicine of the University of Havana. Later that year, he was one of the founders of the Institute for Basic and Pre-Clinical Sciences. In 1962, he founded the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Santiago with a group of colleagues, the second in Cuba. He would serve as a senior professor there until 1974. Granado was thus in part responsible for "one of the undeniable achievements of Castro's government, the training and provision for the population for the first time of large numbers of highly competent doctors.Between 1986 and 1990, he took part in the creation of the Cuban Genetics Society and was appointed its president.Here is what he said abou Che - "Because he was a man who fought and died for what he thought was fair, so for young people, he is a man who needs to be followed. And as time goes by and countries are governed by increasingly corrupt people ... Che's persona gets bigger and greater, and he becomes a man to imitate. He is not a God who needs to be praised or anything like that, just a man whose example we can follow, in always giving our best in everything we do".
José Martí Cup for Men's Champions
Torneo de Rugby Habana Howlers 7's
Copa José Martí
José Julián Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853–May 19, 1895) was a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. In his short life he was a poet, an essayist, a journalist, a revolutionary philosopher, a translator, a professor, a publisher, and a political theorist. Through his writings and political activity, he became a symbol for Cuba's bid for independence against Spain in the 19th century, and is referred to as the "Apostle of Cuban Independence". He also fought against the threat of United States expansionism into Cuba. From adolescence, he dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, political independence for Cuba and intellectual independence for all Spanish Americans.
Born in Havana, Martí began his political activism at a young age. He would travel extensively in Spain, Latin America, and the United States raising awareness and support for the cause of Cuban independence. His unification of the Cuban émigré community, particularly in Florida, was crucial to the success of the Cuban War of Independence against Spain. He was a key figure in the planning and execution of this war, as well as the designer of the Cuban Revolutionary Party and its ideology. He died in military action on May 19, 1895.
Martí is considered one of the great turn-of-the-century Latin American intellectuals. His written works consist of a series of poems, essays, letters, lectures, a novel, and even a children's magazine. He wrote for numerous Latin American and American newspapers; he also founded a number of newspapers himself. His newspaper Patria was a key instrument in his campaign for Cuban independence. After his death, one of his poems from the book, "Versos Sencillos" (Simple Verses) was adapted to the song, "Guantanamera," which has become the definitive patriotic song of Cuba.
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes for men's Plate Champions
Torneo de Rugby Habana Howlers 7's
Plato Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo (April 18, 1819 Bayamo, Oriente – February, 1874 San Lorenzo, Oriente) was a Cuban planter who freed his slaves, and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War (1868-1878), also known as the Great War, began on October 10, 1868 when he and his fellow sugar mill owners proclaimed Cuba's independence from Spain. It was the first of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Little War (1879-1880) and the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898). The final three months of the last conflict escalated to become the Spanish–American War.
Máximo Gómez for men's Bowl Champions
Torneo de Rugby Habana Howlers 7's
Tazón Máximo Gómez - 2010
Máximo Gómez y Báez (November 18, 1836 in the Dominican Republic - June 17, 1905 in Havana, Cuba) was a Major General in the Ten Years' War (1868-1878) and Cuba's military commander in that country's War of Independence (1895-1898).
Antonio Maceo for men's Shield Champions
Torneo de Rugby Habana Howlers 7's
Escudo Antonio Maceo -2010
Lt. General Antonio de la Caridad Maceo y Grajales (June 14, 1845 – December 7, 1896) was second-in-command of the Cuban Army of Independence.
Fellow Cubans gave Maceo the sobriquet of the "Bronze Titan" (Spanish: El Titan de Bronce), which was a reference to his skin color, stature and status. Spaniards referred to Maceo as the "Greater Lion" (El Leon mayor).
Emil Signes Award
Women's MVP at the Havana Howlers 7's
Emil " Emilito" Signes
JMV - de las mujeres(jugador mas valioso)
Widely regarded as one of the best sevens coaches in the world, Emil Signes has compiled the most varied and successful record of any US coach during a rugby career that has spanned more than 30 years. He has coached both the US Men’s and Women’s National 7s teams, the German Men’s National 7s team ,consulted for the Portuguese National 7s and has taken numerous trips to Cuba to foster the growth of the game there. He founded and manages the Atlantis sevens program, a national touring select side that has one of the winningest records in US rugby. Not limited to sevens, Signes has also helped coach the US Women’s National 15s team and several territorial men’s and women’s select sides.
Mariana Grajales Coello Cup women's champions at the Havana Howlers 7's
Copa Mariana Grajales Coello de las mujeres
Mariana Grajales Coello (June 26, 1808 – November 23, 1893) is a Cuban icon of the women's struggle and the fight for an independent Cuba free from slavery. She and her family served in the Ten Years' War, Little War (1879) and the War of 1895. Jose and Antonio Maceo Grajales, sons of Mariana, served as generals in the Liberation Army from 1868 through 1878. During her time serving in the war, Mariana ran hospitals and provision grounds on the base camps of her son Antonio, frequently entering the battlefield to aid wounded soldiers, both Spaniard and Cuban. Jose Marti, after witnessing Mariana Grajales and Antonio Maceos wife, Maria Cabrales, enter the battlefield to rescue the wounded Antonio, remarked: "Faciles son los heroes con tales mujeres" (It is easy to be heroes with women such as these)
Ana Betancourt Plate women's champions at the Havana Howlers 7's
Havana Howlers 7's
Plato Ana Betancourt de las mujeres
Ana Betancourt (December 14, 1832 Camagüey, Cuba – February 7, 1901 Madrid, Spain) was a Cuban woman who took a leading role in the war of independence from Spain. In 1869, she addressed the Constitutional Assembly of Cuban patriots at Guáimaro in which she linked female emancipation to the abolition of slavery and the struggle against colonialism. Although unused to hardship she lived in the forest with the revolutionaries.On July 9, 1871, she and her husband were taken by surprise by the Spanish forces and captured. She was sentenced to exile in Spain where she lived the rest of her life never seeing de la Pera again. She continued to support the cause of Cuban independence from her exile.
Candelaria Figueredo Bowl women's champions at the Havana Howlers 7's
Tazon Candelaria Figueredo de las mujeres
Candelaria Figueredo (born December 11, 1852, Bayamo, Cuba - died January 19, 1914, Havana, Cuba) was a Cuban patriot who fought in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. She joined the struggle in October 1868 aged only 16 when her father asked her to carry the independent Cuban flag into battle at Bayamo. She accepted the risky task enthusiastically and entered the town seated on a white horse carrying the newly designed flag. On July 15, 1871 she was captured by the Spanish, together with her 14 year old sister and 12 year old brother. They were imprisoned in the Fortress of Zaragoza in Manzanillo, where they were interrogated. Candelaria, and her siblings were finally ordered to leave Cuba by October 17, 1871, or face deportation . They sailed from Manzanillo on the schooner Annie bound for New York on October 13, despite there being a hurricane in the vicinity. Candelaria is supposed to have persuaded the captain to sail with the words : “It is a question of necessity. I prefer a thousand times to be food for the sharks than that of the Spaniards".
Karl Fix - president of the Dog River Howlers Rugby Club where "it's more than a game, it's a way of life" - www.dogriverhowlers.com - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq2CLUdzri8 Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dog-River-Howlers-Rugby-Club/171358302913109