Asia Rugby Under 18 Girls Rugby 7s tournament is Get Ito Rugby breakthrough.
The upcoming Asia Rugby Under 18 Girls Rugby 7s tournament to be held in Dubai, UAE, from Wednesday November 30th to Thursday December 2nd 2016 is a breakthrough for World Rugby’s highly effective ‘Get Into Rugby’ programme.
“This event will showcase the pathway from Get into Rugby to international rugby.” says Ben van Rooyen Asia Rugby’s Get Into Rugby Coordinator. ‘Many of the participants playing in this week’s tournament have come through the GIR Programmes in their respective Unions.’
Since the beginning of UAE Rugby’s 2016 / 2017 season, the Federation (UAERF), and its team, have focussed their efforts to grow the game among Emirati girls. UAERF is aiming to raise participation levels to include at least 40% of all new participants to be female in accordance with World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby guidelines.
The foundation of the current squad is a group of 6 girls who started training and playing with an established club in Dubai. Interest in the game accelerated when UAERF appointed a female Development Officer, Ms Amira Bin Fkih to grow the game in Emirati Schools. The Federation’s Board of Directors put their full support behind these efforts to grow the game and decided to create and host the first U18 Girls competition in Asia. “It was a dream to see Emirati girls play contact rugby and represent UAE in an international tournament.” Said Mr. Qais Al Dhalai Secretary General of the UAE Rugby Federation”
“Also, this is one of Asia Rugby’s KPIs, to have structured competitions for men’s and women’s U18. An U18’s men’s 7’s was held in Chinese Taipei in Aug 2016 with
6 Asian teams and now UAE has initiated the equal step to have a women’s U18 7’s. We are delighted it’s happening now – in the following years they won’t only be sanctioned by Asia Rugby but run and organized by Asia Rugby” added Al Dhalai.
Since September 2016 30 Emirati girls joined one club to play in league matches. UAERF selected a group of 20 girls to train as the extended squad in preparation for the upcoming tournament that will be part of the Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby Sevens. “Joining a club and playing regularly is the foundation of future success” commented Sami Smara UAERF Development Manager.
The girls had 2 weekend camps where the UAERF Development staff instructed the girls on the Laws, fitness and skills development. On Saturday 26 November the girls had a rewarding and exciting opportunity to witness the New Zealand Women’s 7s team train and had the chance to meet the Rio silver medal winners. The girls were inspired by the role models from New Zealand and cannot wait to represent their country in the upcoming international tournament.