Ross Mitchell, General Manager of Asia Rugby, will be retiring from Asia Rugby at the end of this month. He has been involved with rugby in Asia for over 45 years.
Ross arrived in Hong Kong in 1975 and started playing for the Police Rugby Club. In the late 80s he ‘took up the whistle’ and went on to become an international referee.
He had the distinct honour of refereeing the final of the Hong Kong 7’s on two occasions in the 90’s and was selected as a referee for the RWC 7’s in 1997. Ross, a World Rugby Master Trainer, also served as a Citing Commissioner for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2005.
In 2007, Ross Mitchell was elected by Asia Rugby (ARFU at the time) Council as the Honorary Secretary General for a period of four years. In 2013, Asia Rugby appointed him as General Manager, a position that he has held since.
Looking back at his tenure at Asia Rugby, Ross commented: “I am very proud of what we have all achieved together as part of Asia Rugby, over the past twelve years.”
He further added: “Where Asia once had one, single, men’s 15’s competition run once every 2 years, we now run over 20 separate competitions for our men, women and youth each and every year.”
During Ross’ tenure, Asia Rugby has not only seen an increase in the number of tournaments but also saw growth in terms of participation numbers, the number and quality of Training & Education programs and social media reach.
He expressed his satisfaction with Asia Rugby’s success in growing the game and reflected as follows: “Our record in development and growing the game leads the world, exemplified by our iconic Asia 1 Million project which went on to become one of the key, standout successes of Japan RWC 2019 and its Impact Beyond programme.”
“We currently have 31 member unions, with a significant number of other countries and nations now all very keen to join and be a part of the success story that is Asia Rugby. It has been a true honour and privilege to have been so closely involved in everything Asia Rugby has achieved over the years together.” added Ross.
Asia Rugby President Mr. Qais Al Dhalai commented “Ross long-serving has been an integral element of Asia Rugby successes and progression over the last 12 years. He assisted many member unions to become members of Asia Rugby and World Rugby which will ink his name in the history of Asia Rugby for decades to come”
Asia Rugby, its member unions and all of the rugby family across the continent would like to thank Ross for his dedicated service to rugby over many years and we wish him and his family well for the future.