[soliloquy id=”0″]Nepal Rugby Association One of the newest members of the Asia Rugby family, is working hard to promote rugby in the picturesque Republic nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Nepal has seen a great deal of hardship in recent times, particularly consequent to the catastrophic 8.1 magnitude earthquake of April 2015 that left more than 9,000 dead, 22,000 injured and millions homeless.
The resilient people of Nepal are in the process of rebuilding, and life is slowly getting back to normal. To help, particularly the young, with the healing process, the Nepal Rugby Association (NRA), with support from Asia Rugby, has stepped up efforts to grow the game.
Get Into Rugby -Nepal
Two ‘Get into Rugby (GIR) STAY’ coaching clinics have been conducted recently, one in the capital Kathmandu, and the other in Pokhara, a popular base for trekkers and Nepal’s second-largest city.
Participants included women and men, club coaches and school Physical Education (PE) teachers from all over Nepal.
These GIR coaching sessions were scheduled to dovetail with the country’s first School Rugby program, launched in Nepal at the Baylor International Academy in Kathmandu. Over 300 of the academy’s students, girls and boys, have participated in GIR TRY sessions so far; the schools’ PE staff is committed to adding rugby to the curriculum and looking forward to including both junior and senior rugby programs.
Notably, prior to these major developments, NRA development staff attended the ‘Growing the Game GIR’ conference convened in Thailand this September.
The work done in Bangkoky appears to be paying dividends already; World Rugby’s GIR program is helping the sport mushroom where, till recently, rugby had remained largely unheard of.
In Nepal, the first national rugby tournament was held as recently as January 2014, and this laid the foundation for Nepal’s first national (7s) sides coming into being.
The Nepal men’s squad — selected to a great extent on the basis of performance at this national tournament — then toured New Delhi in November 2014, playing club sides, such as the Delhi Hurricanes, to pave the way for the country’s international debut.
The General Council of Asia Rugby voted for Nepal to be awarded associate membership at its meeting in Bangkok in 2014.
Consequently, the proud moment for Nepal rugby: the country’s national 7s men’s and women’s teams then registered their debut on the world stage in 2015 at the ‘Asia Rugby Development Sevens’ in Chennai.
“The Nepal Rugby Association is committed to achieving a decent development standard in Asia,” says Asia Rugby Hon. Secretary General Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai, who is also the chairman of the Asia Rugby Development committee.
“They are working closely with the UAE Rugby Federation in terms of match officials exchange programs. Notwithstanding the significant challenges ahead, the NRA is now offering various 7s competitions for the local rugby population, which is something I’m really proud of.”