It might not be the first country on everyone’s lips when discussing rugby, but rugby is on the up in Iran.
While the men’s national team will compete in the ARC Division III West division in April against Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan, the women’s game is actually growing at a quicker rate, says Nahid Biyarjomandi.
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Biyarjomandi is a truly inspiring woman, and Asia Rugby were fortunate enough to speak to her about her passion for the sport.
She has been playing rugby for nine years and now dedicates, and volunteers, her time, helping to develop the game in Iran for women, and has high hopes for the future of women’s rugby in Iran.
“in Iran fortunately girls are more interested in rugby than boys. When I started rugby, I quickly understood it could really help in my life.
“With all experiences I have had and collected, I wanted to be able to pass it to other girls, and maybe with rugby I can help another life.
“Since I started playing, Iran is growing and getting better and better. We have lots of people working together.
“We are trying to catch up to the standard in Asia, and after that we are trying for World Cup…..why not! Maybe it’s impossible but in my mind nothing is impossible.”
Biyarjomandi not only coaches Datis Rugby Club for girls, she also coaches the Iranian U17 girls side and took them to the Dubai Sevens in December where she trod the same path as one of her role models, Portia Woodman.
However, Biyarjomandi’s passion and dedication to the sport and growing the game in Iran does not come easy.
“We work very hard. We have more than 12,000 people coming to rugby festivals, but we need the knowledge to coach.
“I am also a student. I study Physical Education and am going for my PHD. But I am trying to be a great coach so that in the future I can help players who play in Iran. I really love helping girls in Iran and I hope it can help. I really work hard to develop it in Iran, I love rugby.
“We haven’t got many coaches with a high knowledge either. All of the coaches even in national teams they are trying to be a good coach, but not all of them have high knowledge.
“And about equipment. We haven’t got enough balls. But with all of these problems we are trying to fight and thinking what we can do for rugby.”