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Rugby youth programme gets a boost

By Roufan Nahhas - Sep 18,2014 - Last updated at Sep 18,2014

AMMAN — The Get Into Rugby Youth Development Programme, established globally to promote the five core values of the game and encourage fans of the sport to enjoy it, kicked off on Wednesday at 14 Schools in Jordan.

HRH Prince Mired, president of the Jordan Rugby Committee (JRC), highlighted the significance of introducing rugby in schools, saying at a press conference held at Lycee Francais Amman: “We are really proud of this initiative and we are excited to see as many as 14 schools in the Kingdom accepted this programme with full force. Our target is to involve other schools whether public or private.”

“We were somehow pessimistic that schools would not accept the idea at the beginning but after seeing the positive reception from schools especially having 14 schools and 44 physical education teachers committed to delivering the Get Into Rugby Programme for 2014/2015 we became really optimistic and now we will increase our efforts and hope more schools join in the near future,” the prince said.

“We thank HRH Prince Feisal, president of the Jordan Olympic Committee [JOC], for his support and all those dedicated fans of this sport which we believe has a great future and unmatched excitement. This is a major milestone in the development of rugby in Jordan which we are proud of, as it will allow for the Jordanian youth to join the global community of this unique sport with its strong values and great educational benefits,” he added.

The programme which comes with full sets of training materials and resources will be conducted through three comprehensive phases.

“We have the Try Phase which introduces children to the values [integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline]and principles of the game. The training sessions of this phase are no-contact exercise and taught in the PE classes for all students,” JRC’s David Martinon told The Jordan Times.

“While the Play Phase will provide the opportunity to experience the game in a safe and fun environment through a rugby seven’s school leagues and events after an initial training period. The training sessions from this phase start to be contact exercise [touch Rugby] and are taught during extra curriculum,” he added. 

Meanwhile the Stay Phase keeps athletes involved for years to come.

The programme is targeting 1,000 young players for the 2014/15 season in Jordan and the Kingdom is one of the 150 countries being involved as part of the International Rugby Board strategy as rugby rejoins the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.

The JRC with the support of the JOC and the Asian Rugby Football Union will be providing schools with specific trainings and rugby playing kits. 

Qais Haddad, a physical education teacher at the Ahliyyah School for Girls told The Jordan Times that this is a great initiative.

“We are really proud to be part of this programme and as our school pays great attention and effort in developing the sporting scene we are sure that this programme will give excitement and benefits to students,” he said.

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