Asia Rugby U 18’s Girls 7’s Championship, hosted for the first time by Rugby India in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, provided the opportunity for Rugby India to host their first World Rugby medical courses in this region.
The increasing need for medical support for this regional development of the game is evident as five of this years RI U 18’s players are from Odisha.
The 2-day WR Immediate Care in Rugby (ICIR) L2 was led by Azril Ali (MRU) CD and Joy Walter (MT). They were assisted by medical educators Namith Sankalpana (SLR), Chandan Poddar, Shabrez Mukaddam and Vahbiz Bharucha (RI).
Following the completion of the L2 course Chandan, Shabrez and Vahbiz conducted a World Rugby First Aid in Rugby course with 17 participants from Rugby India (9) and Bangladesh Rugby (6) plus the team medics from Qatar and Sri Lanka.
Six participants from the L2 and several from FAIR courses joined the tournament medical team, led by Dr Chandan Poddar, as well as providing “buddy” support to the 4 team medics who hadn’t done a WR L2 or equivalent course.
As an indication of the participating unions increased the level of support for player welfare seven of the twelve team medics held WR ICIR L3 or PHICIS, which complemented the similarly skilled RI medical team leads.
With the rapid expansion of the youth and the women’s game, the skills gained by all those participating in the courses and the subsequent tournament experience means that the player welfare resources are being developed to meet this increase in player participation. Rugby India is to be congratulated for providing a strong lead on this.