Asia Rugby today wrapped up in Dubai its annual gathering of leaders and development personnel from its 31 member unions, brought together over the past 4 days to progress the Impact Beyond legacy programme to strengthen the capacity of Unions to grow the game in Asia up to and after RWC 2019 in Japan.
Leading Rugby conference
The Leading Rugby conference on 14-15 September involved leaders from 10 selected unions, who exchanged ideas on key issues such as governance; planning; maximizing income and communications strategies, where they received keynote presentations from their fellow UAE, Malaysian and Indian unions.
One time Asia Rugby President and now CEO of the Sri Lanka Rugby Union, Priyantha Ekanayake said “This weekend has been a different experience for me. I’ve recently come back into rugby administration after a number of years away and I now understand the direction in which Asia and World Rugby are headed. It’s been fun and very informative.”
Growing the Game conference
Fifty delegates from 26 unions attended the Growing the Game conference on 16-17 September, where topics included building pathways in Asia; growing the girl’s and women’s game and safeguarding and player welfare. They also received updates on latest Get Into Rugby planning and tracking tools and equipment provision.
Asia Rugby member unions have tasked themselves to implement 63 Impact Beyond projects over the next 2 years to improve the Game across the region to help bring about 2 million players; 23,500 Coaches; 10,300 Match Officials; 2,350 Strength & Conditioning Coaches and 1,500 trained Medical personnel, with a target of 50% of the new players being female.
The Japan Rugby Union, which has its own target of more than 200,000 active participants at all levels by 2020, updated delegates on the various ways it is not only growing the game in Japan, but also how it can help unions across the region through relationships with various Japanese agencies.
Asia Rugby also took the opportunity to provide – over 2 evenings – a World Rugby Level 1 Seven’s Coaching course to those delegates who wanted to update their skills.
Afghanistan Rugby Federation Chairman, Mohammed Mansoor Majid said “the past 4 days has been very informative. My colleagues and I have learnt so much. This event will help the developing unions move up internationally”.
Asia Rugby Secretary General, Qais Al Dhalai concluded the weekend by saying:
“In collaboration with World Rugby, Asia Rugby’s sophisticated program of Leading Rugby followed by Growing the Game Conferences has ignited our member unions’ representatives about what the region is looking for, why it’s looking for progress and what we as a region earn out of it. “
“This 2nd edition event has been concluded successfully with great commitment, dedication and team work offered by the attendees. I look forward to next year’s event which will take place at a central Asian country after the one held in the eastern part of Asia in Bangkok and another one in the west that is Dubai.”