Committed to taking Rugby in Odisha to greater heights: Rahul Bose

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Bhubaneswar: The Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in association with Sports & Youth Services Department, Govt. of Odisha, and Odisha Rugby Football Association (ORFA) last week launched the Rugby ‘Train the Trainers’, a detailed training and education program, with an aim to empower participants to deliver on Rugby grassroots development activities across Odisha. Through this initiative, Rugby India in association with ORFA aims to reach out to large numbers of PE teachers from Government & Private Educational Institutions across the State over the next three years.

The Rugby ‘Train the Trainers’ program course module includes a combination of virtual and physical classrooms and will be delivered to PE Teachers from Primary, Secondary & Higher Secondary Schools that are affiliated by the Department of School & Mass Education, Govt. of Odisha, as well as PE Teachers from Ashram Schools, affiliated to ST SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department, Govt. of Odisha and students of Govt. Physical Education Collage, Bhubaneswar.

This Training &Education (T&E) initiative kick started on Wednesday 21st July, 2021and received an overwhelming participation response. Around250 PE Teachers from Khordha & Cuttack districts as well as students of GCPE, Bhubaneswar registered for the program.

Shri. Satyabrata Sahu, IAS, Principal Secretary, School and Mass Education, Govt. of Odisha, Shri. Vishal Kumar Dev, IAS, Principal Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department and Department of Tourism, Govt. of Odisha and Rahul Bose, actor, director, philanthropist and Board member of Rugby India attended the inaugural sessions of the Rugby T&E courses.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary, Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha, Vishal K Dev, said, “Historically, girls from Odisha have done exceptionally well in Rugby, often leading from the front,  and we want to create a strong grassroot system and give the same chance to other young boys and girls to take up this wonderful sport. Today’s program, one of many to come, is a first step towards developing Rugby coaches, who once certified and can take up further activities at the grassroots.”

Last year, the state had signed a partnership with Rugby India to support not only Indian National teams, but also develop, promote and expand the sports ecosystem in Odisha beyond hockey and football. Over the years we have seen Odia players, especially from rural and tribal pockets, rise to international stature and we are keen to see that number increase, Dev added.

Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Bose; Actor, Director, Philanthropist and a Board Member of Rugby India, said, “With Olympic level credibility, these Rugby courses will help PE teachers and coaches nurture new talent from schools, colleges, universities from across Odisha. These efforts will not only help in identifying and training the next generation of national players from the state but will also seed Rugby at a deep, fundamental level, making it in the future, one of the legacy sports of Odisha.”

The benefactors of this program will be sports coaches, physical education teachers, and students. Once certified, the participants will be equipped to conduct grassroots activities and nurture new talent from schools and universities in their respective districts. Rugby India’s & ORFA’s certified educators & coaches will lead this program.

This initiative is aligned with developing players &rugby teams from schools, colleges, universities, district and states to perform in SGFI’s National School Games, AIU’s National University Games, Districts/State Rugby Championships and IRFU’s national competitions.

This program will not only equip the PE teachers and students with the appropriate knowledge, skill and aptitude to become certified coaches in a promising sport but also enhance their livelihood opportunities. Certification will provide an advantage point and they can go on to mentor the next generation of Rugby players from a very young age.

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