Asia Rugby hosted the 4th edition of its annual Growing the Game conference over a tropical weekend in Kuala Lumpur.
Over 50 delegates from 27 countries attended the conference that was kindly supported by Malaysia Rugby Union.
The majority of the attendees are Get Into Rugby Coordinators and Development Officers in their home unions. Also in attendance were World Rugby representatives: General Manager – Game Growth, Jason Lewis; Rugby Services Manager – Asia, Ridzal Saat; Development Programmes Manager, Anne Grumelard and Regional Training Manager, Gene Tong.
The annual conference, which is an integral part of the Asia Rugby overall strategy to grow the game of rugby, aimed at presenting unions with best practices in the field of rugby development and to guide unions to align strategies for player retention.
Topics covered were:
- Get Into Rugby Implementation
- Retention Strategies
- Digital Content Creation, Distribution and Social Media Promotions
- Impact Beyond projects
- Resource development and Curriculum packages
- Olympic Solidarity Funding
- Gender Inclusion Policy and Safeguarding workshops
- Growing Women’s rugby and the “Unstoppables” campaign
One of the highlights of the event included a panel of female players and staff who shared their journeys in Rugby.
Judging from the comments of the delegates, the conference was a definite success with a fine mix of information, group work, group discussions and enjoyment.
Ben van Rooyen, Asia Rugby Development Consultant who organised and spearheaded the event commented on the conference: “This 4th edition of the conference was by far the best conference we have had “.
Van Rooyen further added “We had a room full of union delegates who had a higher level of understanding and higher levels of motivation than what we have seen in the past and we came up with creative ideas of not only growing the game but growing the game better “
One of the unique features of this year’s conference was that sub-regional working groups were formed according to Asia Rugby’s five sub regions.
Growing The Game Conference Feedback
Kwan-Fan Su, International Relations Officer from Chinese Taipei Rugby Football Union commented on this: “The grouping of unions together into regional groups for some of sessions was very helpful to unions already familiar with each other’s progress. The language barriers were reduced and sped up discussions to reach core issues.”
Anatoliy Shirov from Uzbekistan reflected on the conference and rugby in Asia by saying: “The development of rugby in Asia has great potential.” Shirov added what he found it useful to hear about the Development challenges in other countries and how they overcome the challenges. “It was interesting to listen to successful cases of rugby development in other countries. The workshops were very useful.”
Samantha Feausi from Hong Kong and one of the recipients of the World Rugby Women’s Scholarship spoke about some of her key takeaways: “Practical tools such as the Activation Injury Prevention warm up etc. were great. Small group talks about how unions can help each other also proved useful. It was great to be able to network and meet people from other unions.”
Asia Rugby would like to thank the Malaysia Rugby Union for hosting the very successful event, especially Mr Rami Yusof, Vice President of MRU, who not only helped not organise the event but also lead some of the workshops.
Finally, a big thank you to World Rugby for its support and a special thank you to the World Rugby and union delegates who attended.