Try, Play and Stay in Rugby; Fiji launches IRB’s “Get into Rugby” program

(RUGBY HOUSE – SUVA) – 30 APRIL 2014 – The Fiji Rugby Union’s (FRU) Development Unit in partnership with the International Rugby Board launched an exciting children’s project called “Get into Rugby” at the Fiji Sports Council’s Quarterly Sports Camp in Suva today.

Get into Rugby” promotes the values of the game and ensures that children are encouraged to try rugby in a safe and progressive environment.

“The global aim of the programme is to encourage players of all ages to Try, Play and Stay in Rugby, with a target of attracting one million new players and 15,000 new coaches and referees over the next four years,” the FRU’s Sports Development Manager Sale Sorovaki told participants at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

Chief Guest at the launch Sports Development Manager at the Fiji Sports Commission Giles Smith, said talent in Fiji is not an issue we have that in abundance, the challenge we face now is how we can maximize that talent.

“What makes it even more special today is the fact that the Fiji Sports Commission will partner with the Fiji Rugby Union to take this program to as many primary schools around Fiji as we can.

He said in Fiji, a total 360 out of 714 Primary schools are playing organised rugby, and there are moves and programs in place to continue to increase this number.

“In Fiji, 95% of girls do not play rugby and there are now moves to also increase the participation in women’s rugby,” he added.

“This Get into Rugby program will be the driving catalyst to change and increase these figures.

Giles said that grassroots and mass participation programs such as these provide the foundations to all sports performance.

“It is vital that all children are given the opportunity to participate at whatever level suits them and the focus in our Primary Schools must be based around fun and inclusiveness and not competition,” Giles added.

“I found the Get into Rugby programme today really good as I’ve learnt how to pass the rugby ball and the rules for rugby,” said 13 year old Tamara Diloi a student of Latter Day Saints Church College.

For 13 year old Santo Mosese it was an interesting experience with the involvement of children from as old as 6 years as well as girls.

“I’ve learnt a variation of things like how to pass the ball and rugby rules and also about the get into rugby program,” Mosese explained.

The eight sessions of the program are designed to take a player with no experience of Rugby through to being a player who is able to play 7 v 7 Rugby with mini scrums and lineouts.

Brazil, China and Mexico have been among the initial locations for the launch of the IRB’s new global initiative.

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