The inaugural Uprising Schools Sevens Championship will run alongside the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in January.
Sixteen teams, including top schools like Ratu Kadavulevu, Ratu Navula, Suva Grammar, Marist Brothers, Lelean and Natabua, have been invited to the tournament at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka on January 13 and 14.
Uprising Beach Resort General Manager James Pridgeon said the partnership came about because the resort was excited about the future of rugby sevens in Fiji.
"Given our history of supporting rugby at a grassroots level in Fiji, the Uprising Schools Championship gives us the perfect platform to continue to do so," Pridgeon said. “The Uprising Schools Championship will bring together some of the best young talent in the islands and we know it will be a fabulous addition to the Coral Coast Sevens.
“Our support of rugby sevens in Fiji also includes hosting Ben Ryan and the national team when they are in camp and we know he is a great advocate of the youth of Fiji. Like Ben, we are proud to get behind the next generation ahead of the Rio Olympics and we look forward to new discoveries at the Uprising Schools Sevens Championship."
Pridgeon said the partnership was timely as resort owner Rene Munch was back in Fiji fulltime and had reignited the Uprising Academy, who will play in the tournament.
"The Uprising Schools Championship and the academy itself are exciting for our youth to look forward to in 2016," he added.
The Uprising Beach Resort, set on 3km of beach in Pacific Harbour approximately an hour from Sigatoka, offers award-winning accommodation, a training field and gym facilities for visiting rugby teams. Fiji, coached by Ryan, have recently been in camp ahead of the first leg of their HSBC Sevens World Series defence in Dubai on 4-5 December.
“We are thrilled to add a youth competition to the Coral Coast Sevens and very grateful that James and the Uprising team have come on board,” said Jay Whyte, Founding Chairman of the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens. “The upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro means it is a wonderful time to add the Uprising Schools Championship where the exciting future of Fiji will be on show at Lawaqa Park.
“The competition is set to offer a prize pool of $7,000 and over time we will look to add girls, younger age grades and international schools as we build partnerships with tournaments around the world.”
The Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens, now in its sixth year, is working with the Fijian Secondary Schools Rugby Union to develop the sport at the youth level.
Meanwhile, the senior tournaments are taking shape with less than 60 days to go.
Sixteen women’s teams contest the Crest Na Iri Trophy include the history-making TFL Fijiana, who qualified for Rio last weekend, and a record seven local club sides.
The national women's teams of Tonga and Papua New Guinea have also confirmed their participation.
The men’s tournament also features 16 men’s teams with defending champion Police and local winners Tabadamu, Uluinakau and Yamacia taking on sponsor teams such as Outrigger, Hideaway Hurricanes and Coastal Ratu Filise.
Germany and Tonga, both preparing for the Olympic repechage, are guest sides. Further teams will be announced in due course.