Rugby as a sport has a long history. Sevens rugby, albeit new, as a sport has been readily and aggressively adopted in Canada because of its Olympic involvement.
Our men are currently a top-12 country in the world. We are not supported by OTP, but our goal is to be supported by Own the Podium and to finish in the top ten. We are on the world circuit, so we represent Canada in ten tournaments around the world in a grand prix format. Our goal next year is to finish in the top ten in the men.
In terms of our women's rugby, we're currently ranked number one in the world. Of our last seven tournaments, we won five, and we finished second in one, third in the other. We are traditionally a strong rugby nation in women's fifteens. We believe our athletic base and the way in which we approach team sports in Canada will ensure that our women will win gold in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Funding support for our rugby is multi-faceted. We believe in the business model where our funding comes from multiple sources and not just government. However, we wouldn't be able to field our men's and women's program without the support of the Government of Canada, whether it be through Sport Canada in their hosting program, through the athlete assistance program, or through the general sports support program that support all of our athletes in the development of rugby across Canada.
Own the Podium, where our women are supported, has provided an opportunity to take our women and present them on the world stage and to ensure, in my opinion, that they stay number one for the next five years. We hope that our relationship with Own the Podium will continue to grow and we'll be able to offer our women the absolute best possible chances of following Peter's gold—or silver or bronze—that he will win in London this summer.
In terms of all the colleagues we deal with in Canadian sport, I think we're all very fortunate to have the COC, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and all the other collective bodies that support our coaching and officiating programs. They all work together in Canadian sport. Our real focus, however, is on our athletes.
Although we can always say that we've prepared enough, whether it be 2012 or 2016, the true measure of competing for Canada is allowing our athletes to compete without any distractions. I'm not sure whether we do that on a regular basis or whether we do that on a daily basis, but I can tell you that all of the sports preparing for the Olympic Games are trying to provide our athletes with the absolute best preparation, both in the lead-up to the Olympic Games and when they're done, when they come home from the Olympic Games, whether they win a medal or not.
I believe the support that we can give our athletes will be paramount as they represent Canada. Probably it's the greatest thrill they will have, representing their country, but it's also the greatest honour they'll ever have.
On behalf of Rugby Canada, although we're not in 2012, we are in 2016, and we hope this is the first step to preparing our athletes for both medal and podium in 2016.