LATIN Heat Rugby League has committed to its first-ever appearance at a tournament in North America, set to contest the USARL Nines near Philadelphia on May 21.
The tournament is the realisation of a long-term goal to establish a footprint in North America, where there are 122 million people in Mexico, 55 million Latinos living in the USA and over 500,000 Latinos living in Canada.
Since 2013 the GYG Latin Heat has been encouraging players of Latin American heritage to enjoy the sport of Rugby League and have an avenue for international representation.
Globally, there are more than 700 million people of Latin American-heritage, with 100 million living outside of Latin America itself.
Those interested in participating for the GYG Heat in Philadelphia should have heritage in one of the following nations:
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Expressions of interest in being an on-field or off-field member of the GYG Latin Heat squad for the games in Philadelphia can be made to Robert@sambatimes.com
The tournament will be contested by club teams from the USA Rugby League, as well as emerging nations such as Canada, Jamaica and West Papua.
In Australia, the GYG Latin Heat has also organised another event of great significance, with Chile to face El Salvador in the first 13-on-13 game played by individual Latino nations, taking place June 11 at Newtown, Sydney.
The undercard will feature Peru v Uruguay, and Ecuador facing Colombia in 9-a-side games.
Eventually the organisation hopes to grow strong enough to assist all the nations of Latin America to identify a player pool which can represent them in international fixtures.
Last week Argentina submitted its final paperwork to become an observer nation of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).
Confederacion Argentina de Rugby League (CARL) president Carlos Varela will attend a workshop with professional clubs and organisations in Australia later in 2016 to assist the game’s development.
The efforts of Latin Heat Rugby League are supported by Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taquerias, S.H.I.E.L.D Security, Tattoo Tears,OneBigSwitch.com.au, Jani-King Cleaning, SeriousAboutRL.com, Rugby League Team Manager 2015 computer game, Lichtnauer and Associates Accountants, Cabramatta Ink and Majestic Property Maintenance, and Darkside Studio Photography.