Ryan one 20071112 Sharks star visits home town to support Sevens

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					Ryan one 2007/11/12 Sharks star visits home town to support Sevens SA Sevens and Sharks player Ryan Kankowski, the newest member of the Bok squad, has paid a fleeting visit to his old home town of Port Elizabeth to lend his support to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens (NMBS) tournament. He was the star attraction at the NMBS stand at the recent Homemakers Expo where he hosted several autograph sessions. “The organisers have done a wonderful job in bringing this world-class event to PE,” he said in between signing sessions. “Now it is up to the public to support them.” According to him, Sevens tournaments worldwide have built a fantastic supporters base where everyone is like one big family. “I believe the same will happen with the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens, which will add another dimension to rugby in the Eastern Cape. “Sevens is much faster than the regular game and you have to have good ball handling skills and on the field communication. It’s a fantastic way to develop rugby skills,” said the 22-year-old, who cut his teeth in the Sevens format. Kankowski, whose dad Tino represented Eastern Province in more than a hundred games, showed as a youngster that rugby talent ran in the family when he was selected to play in the Craven Week. However, his big break came when he was offered a place at the Sharks’ Academy in 2004, an opportunity he grabbed with both hands. Today he is considered one of the rising stars in South African rugby, having played for the SA Emerging Sevens, the SA Sevens and the Sharks’ Super 14 and Currie Cup sides. Although Kankowski junior now lives in Durban, the Eastern Cape remains close to his heart. “I keep regular contact with friends and I would love to return home some day,” he said. NMBS marketing director, Laurence Finn, echoed his sentiments. “The people of the Eastern Cape have been starved of quality rugby and entertainment for a number of years and this is their opportunity to come out in large numbers to show their support.” Finn said the tournament was designed to offer something for the whole family. “Some of the country’s leading entertainers and bands like Watershed, Kurt Darren, Amor Vittone, NKD and Dawnay will continue where the rugby had left off. There will also be an adventure zone, interactive zone for kids, a retail section and pampering areas for women,” he said. Ryan final

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The impact of the festival goes beyond the event itself, according to Finn. “Not only does it create direct opportunities for Eastern Cape companies, it also promotes the metro as a tourist destination and demonstrates that the province is capable of hosting world-class events.” Tickets for the event, which takes place at the Grey School campus from December 14 to 16, are on sale at Computicket. A weekend pass of R150 for adults and R75 for children under 12 includes access to all the entertainment and the concerts. For more information, visit www.nmbs.co.za or phone Laurence Finn at 084 507 3175. (ends) CAPTION (ryan action): Former local Ryan Kankowski, seen here in action for the Sharks during this year’s Super 14 tournament, visited Port Elizabeth recently to support the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens. Photo: Prestige Photo Shop CAPTION (ryan h&s): Former local and current Sharks star Ryan Kankowski visited Port Elizabeth recently to support the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens. Photo: Pure Photography Issued by: Coetzee Gouws Full Stop Communications Cell: 082 575 7991 E-mail: coetzee@fullstopcom.com On behalf of: Laurence Finn & Jacques Steyn Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens

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Description: Ryan one 20071112 Sharks star visits home town to support Sevens