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Home > News > Indian RFU August Newsletter
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Your News Indian RFU August Newsletter

Rugby Regions

As rugby’s popularity is growing quickly, it is timely we let our stakeholders know how rugby in India is divided, geographically wise.

We are broken into 6 regions and below that fall the States and Union territories then the districts and clubs. Five regions are represented below. The Army serves as our sixth region.

Our 28 rugby development officers are generally employed by the Indian Rugby Football Union and work for a specific region and responsible for training coaches and officials, working with local stakeholders, and assisting coaches. Many in their own time coach teams as well.

North East West South Central

J and K Bengal Maharashtra Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh Meghalaya Rajasthan Bihar

Punjab Assam Gujarat Kerala Jharkhand

Chandigarh Arunachal Pradesh Goa Karnataka Chhattisgarh

Haryana Nagalan Daman & Diu Andhra Pradesh Orissa

Uttaranchal Manipur Dadra & Naga Havali Pondicherry Madhya Pradesh

Delhi Mizoram Lakshadweep

Tripura Andaman & Nicobar Isles Sikkim

School and Youth Development

As you’ll read later about the North, rugby in India is going through a huge growth curve right now, and to be fair we are struggling to control the numbers and regions wanting to take up the sport.

A very healthy position to be in, however finding the right people with good rugby knowledge and the ability to train others to coach as well as no formal government recognition compound the challenges’ we face.

However these challenges are not holding back our regions and RDOs in particular, who are out there training many new coaches as well as introducing our great sport to thousands of new participants around India.

In Maharashtra alone over the past month our RDO team have introduced over 2500 students to the game and established 24 schools with teams and conducted coaching and officiating clinics as well as 6 new teams wanting to qualify for National tournaments ( 2 women’s teams)

In Jharkhand in the central region the IRFU has been busy as well with permission being given for us to work with 250 local government schools .This is particularly positive considering the National Games 7s tournament will be in Ranchi later this year.

Rugby Participation Survey

India rugby is in the process of conducting a participation survey covering players, coaches, officials and administrators of the game. The intention of this audit is to establish an accurate head count of rugby participation in India alongside the recently introduced player, coach registration process.

This information will also allow India rugby to better understand areas of concern and also assist when discussing the game with stakeholders such as sponsors and media concerning development and growth. These figures will be published in a future newsletter.

Upcoming Events for India Rugby

Most regions club rugby competition conclude the week prior to the All India Div 1 tournament

September 6-7 Sri Lanka 7s

September 6 -13 All India Div 1 Club Championship Finals Kolkata

September 19-20 RWC 7s Warm Up Tournament Dubai

October 4-5 Rugby World Cup 7s Qualifiers Hong Kong

October All India Div 2 (Callaghan Cup) Club Championship Finals

October All India under 16 Club Championships

November 3-10 Asia under 20 Div 2 Championship Busan Korea

November National Games 7s State Qualifying Tournament Jharkhand

November All India Div 3 Club Championship Finals

November 28-29 Dubai 7s

December 2-4 National Games 7s Ranchi

RDO Conference

As mentioned at our first conference in May the RDO team will again be getting together over 3 part days in Kolkata during the All India Tournament

As most of the RDOs will be at the all India either playing or coaching or refereeing this is a great opportunity to get together and move things forward

Dates for this will be Wednesday 2.00pm-6.00pm, Thursday 11.00am-5.00 pm. Friday 9.30am-12.00pm Venue TBA. Essentially the times will be worked around the game time to ensure there is no conflict. All IRFU funded RDOs are expected to attend

North India Rugby Update

The North India Rugby Football Union (NIRFU) has recently got a facelift with the latest inclusion of quality human resources to help popularize, spread awareness and develop the sport across the region. Adesh Kumar, of the Delhi Lions, has been taken on board as the Senior Rugby Development Officer (RDO) who will work closely with RDO’s – Amit ‘Happy’ Lochab, Sarvinder Dabas, Tilak and Vishal Vashist to reach the desired goals. All of the above personnel have immense Rugby playing experience and are committed to working towards a common goal – grassroots development and increasing the player base in Rugby up North. The recently concluded Coaching and Referee’s Clinic held in Delhi saw an overwhelming response from all participants. Similarly, a ‘Rugby Ready’ programme carried out in Srinagar, Kashmir received a fantastic turn-out from all age groups, both boys and girls. Subsequent to the success of this programme, a weeklong coaching camp is to be conducted there in August, by National team players, for all Rugby enthusiasts.

A new school begins rugby in Delhi

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce that NIRFU, along with the British Council and UK Sport, is in the process of initiating a grassroots Rugby development programme, primarily targeting schools across Delhi. This initiative is undertaken to popularize and spread awareness about the sport in North India, with a strong focus specifically on Delhi; as the hosts for the Commonwealth Games 2010 where Rugby 7’s will feature as one of the disciplines. We are highly grateful to the British Council for their long-standing relationship and association with Rugby in India (Western region) and now their support towards the development of the sport in North India.

Club Training at a village in Haryana

The success of the Delhi team at the All India Under-20 Tournament held in Mumbai has provided the required boost in interest and zest towards the game in North India. Besides the customary rivalry between the two oldest teams in Delhi – Lions & Hurricanes, there have been a couple of new additions to spice up the local tournament. Following the successful inclusion of the sport at the Armored Corps (Ahmednagar), the sport has been taken up by the Army troops in Ambala, coached by Samudra Singh, ex-National player and Army personnel. In addition, the inclusion of the sport within the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) has further strengthened the links with the services. The CRPF players are involved in Rugby full-time and are currently being coached by the very popular National team player ‘Happy’. Moreover, like Delhi, the big boys from Haryana seem to have taken a liking towards the sport and have promptly formed a team and are eagerly waiting to play. With the interest levels in North India on the high, a Delhi League has been formed for the very first time and will provide sufficient competitive Rugby for both the players as well as the supporters to keep busy. Nasser Hussain Regional Development Manager – North & West India

National 7s Team Update

With the season over for our National 15 a side team, it is now time for the elite India players to focus on the very busy international 7s tournament programme ahead.

As the 2010 Commonwealth games are now just over 2 years away the IRFU 7s coaching staff and management are moving into games mode which sees the greater 7s training squad moving into camp in late August in preparation for upcoming international tournaments in Sri Lanka, 7s RWC Warm up in Dubai and the 7s Rugby World Cup Qualifying tournament in Hong Kong in early October.

Players will return for the National Games qualifying tournament in November then off to Dubai for the International 7s tournament and finally will cap the year off during December with the Indian National Games 7s in Ranchi.

So a busy few months indeed for India’s elite 7s players.

An India First- IRB Educators

In what is a first for India rugby, 3 of our local rugby people have successfully completed the IRB Educators programme held recently in Bangkok. This is a huge step in India’s development programme.

Only 8 of the 23 participants successfully completed the intensive course, even more credit to the 3 Indian participants.

Nasser Hussain and Usaia Biumaiwai passed the IRB Coach Educator course whilst Salim Tyebjee successfully completed the Referee Educators’ course.

This means IRFU can now start establishing a core group of educators and trainers of Indian origin who are qualified to conduct IRB certificated courses throughout India. A must for Indian rugby development. An outstanding step!

Strength and Conditioning in the Indian Environment by Karl Bloxham

For the last two years I have been heavily involved with Strength and conditioning with the Hawkes Bay Rugby Union based in New Zealand.

My role as Strength and conditioning coach includes the progressive physical development of young players within the Hawkes Bay, who have the potential to play for the province or at a higher level in the near future.

My role also seen me assisting Grant Dearns (S and C Trainer), with Hawkes Bay professional side, the Kelt Capital Magpies, (www.hbmagpies.co.nz).

After travelling through India for the last 6 weeks experiencing an amazing country rich in history, religion, and cultures, I was fortunate enough to meet in Mumbai, a large group of passionate Indian rugby players. I discussed the Importance of Strength and conditioning and ways in which trainers can apply different training modalities, in order to help an individual player and the team as a whole reach their physical potential.

While in Mumbai I was also able to experience the Poona 7’s tournament held at Bombay Gym kana. There were some positive signs from all teams involved, but especially from the Army and the Bombay Gym kana side, showing some great skills and technical nous to make up a competitive well fought final.

The size and speed of some of the players involved was also noticeable with some well developed players, playing strong roles in their team’s performance. I was also impressed with the Magicians commitment in the tackle situation with many bodies being thrown on the line at crucial times, a great never say die attitude that showed a team with huge heart, grit and determination, which at times was inspirational.

Rugby has seen a number of changes in terms of the physical make up, especially at the top level with the main factor being the introduction of professional rugby. The game of rugby has become a lot quicker with the players putting their much bigger bodies on the line at tackle and ruck time, which is also occurring a lot more frequently.

So in general players require increased muscle mass (size) which in turn helps with Speed/Power/Strength Development. Players need to be quicker with emphasis placed on acceleration and agility, have functional strength that can be applied during the game, as well as being powerful in order to cope with the explosive movements required. On top of this Rugby is an intermittent game, and requires a high anaerobic capacity in order to handle the multiple bouts of high intensity periods. A solid aerobic base also becomes important to assist with a fast recovery between these bouts, and to make it through the duration of the game.

India Rugby as I am sure you are all aware is seeing some huge changes. Developments taking place over the next couple of years will pay dividends come 2010 Commonwealth Games. At the Commonwealth games the Indian Rugby National Team, will be able to showcase the belief, skill and passion they possess against the best rugby nations from around the world.

Over the next two years leading into the games an excellent strength and conditioning program will be vital. With the majority of the Indian rugby National 7s team being made up of the Army and Police forces, there is a window of opportunity to place more emphasis on specific strength and conditioning as these players have the time to do so. Resources provided will allow players to set and meet there physical goals.

So come 2010 don’t be surprised to see a much Bigger, Stronger, Fitter, Faster, More Explosive Indian National Team competing at the 2010 commonwealth Games.

Under 16 All India Tournament

Following on from the success of the Under 20 tournament IRFU staff are looking at the potential of holding an annual Under 16 tournament along the same lines as the Under 20.

We have interest from Kolkata and Bhubaneswar and we are hoping to finalize a venue in the next couple of weeks.

Tournament team numbers at this stage will be approaching 24 teams from all over India

This will be the largest event of its kind to date in Indian rugby history!

We are seeking sponsors to ensure that any such tournament is self funded, so if any of our supporters out there wish to assist please contact us at IRFU.

Large or small supporters would be welcomed. This is a great opportunity for Indian companies to get involved with a sport at the grassroots and with great exposure as well for such a company.

It is the IRFU plan to focus much of its resources on developing the game at the child and youth level and tournaments such as this will help secure rugby’s future and success in India.

We need a SPONSOR or SPONSORS to ensure this Tournaments success!

KISS To Tour Australia

The KISS school U 14 team which had so much success in England late 2007 is again touring. This time to Australia where I’m sure the opposition teams will be a little more challenging than those encountered on last year’s successful tournament in England

The upcoming tour is due to the tremendous support that KISS have received from EXIM bank! Many thanks. Good luck to the boys and their support crew

No Rugby on TV! Try this website

I keep getting asked why there is no rugby coverage on TV in India. Well the IRFU is working on this and hopefully by next year we will be able to enjoy a lot more of our favourite sport on the box

In the meantime a very useful website for all rugby fans is called www.mediazone.com/channel/rugby

You do need a fast internet connection but if you have this is well worth the outlay

Many thanks till next time

Greg Davey

IRFU Development Manager

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