History has been made on the back of the IRB’s Get Into Rugby programme, after the first combined Pakistan Women’s rugby team took the field last weekend.
Women's and men's sides representing the Pakistan RFU took on teams comprising players from Britain, Canada, America and Australia, in an event hosted by the British High Commission.
After an intense round of matches, British High Commissioner Philip Barton and the President of the Pakistan Rugby Union Khawaja Mohammad Fawzi presented the trophies to both the Pakistan men’s and women’s teams.
Nearly 1,000 women and well over 2,000 boys who’d previously not heard of rugby let alone played it have participated in the sport since Get Into Rugby was introduced in Pakistan in May 2013.
New measures have now been rolled out to further maximise the potential for growth. Successful links have been forged with hockey academies in Lahore, where rugby has been introduced for the first time, and an exciting new schools initiative is being set up in conjunction with the Beaconhouse School System.
The Beaconhouse Schools System (BSS) is a network of international private schools with nearly a quarter of a million students worldwide. Get Into Rugby will be introduced initially to 60 BSS Schools, with students in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad being the first to benefit.
With the Pakistan men’s Sevens team set to make its full-blown, international debut at the Asian Games, these are potentially heady times for Rugby in the country.
And, in anticipation of a further upsurge in interest, Get into Rugby coordinators have been busy preparing their coaches on the ground with the tools required.
"One of the marked successes of the Get into Rugby programme is the ease of delivery, providing each of the coaches all the tools required to introduce rugby,” said Khuram Haroon, the IRB’s Get Into Rugby project coordinator in Pakistan.
"Using the Get Into Rugby programme we are able to coach both female and male PE teachers and coaching staff at the same time. It is proving a significant help in growing rugby in the country.”
Get Into Rugby is the IRB's development programme which aims to grow the Game of Rugby across the world in partnership with our Regional Associations and introduce people globally to Rugby and the values of Integrity, Respect, Solidarity, Passion and Discipline which inspire millions of people to play our Game.
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