UAE kids lured into rugby
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DUBAI — UAE Rugby have completed a three-week course across Emirati schools in Sharjah and beyond to help bolster grassroots participation among the local youth on countrywide scale.
Having recently been introduced into Sharjah schools’ curriculum, the embryonic union have wasted little time in offering another alternative sport to UAE youngsters with a second programme of week-to-week activities.
“It’s been a great success because there was no obvious way for us to have our operations in Sharjah beforehand,” explained Bremner.
“These youth centres, which are superb facilities with identical designs, allow us to develop the game particularly within those communities.
“We’re very keen to partner with people who want to take rugby on board with a degree on permanency and not just give it a go.
“We’re every bit as much impressed by the enthusiasm of the leaders and managers of the centres as we are with the kids.
“Our assessment of that situation is that we’ll be able to put a sustainable programme in there.
“It will then contribute to a pathway and we’ll subsequently get a good percentage in terms of retention of kids playing the game from the number that we introduced the game to.
“We have to play that game because you can spread yourself very thin with regards to recruitment and not really get anywhere with retention.
“We’ve got to look for high returns on the investment of the time of our staff. Training coaches, leaders and teachers clearly heightens the possibility of getting better returns for us and that has to be how we assess where we’re going to work next.
“We have to feel that there’s an enthusiasm in the club or place that we’re working in.” That ‘enthusiasm’ is obviously a two-way exchange, with the oval ball game’s governing body here eager to support Sharjah and the surrounding area alongside Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai.
“We’re very conscious of the concentration of rugby that there is in the major conurbations,” he added.
“With our development officer, Sami Smara, in Al Ain, we feel that he will have a huge impact there and that there’s great opportunity in Al Ain.
“So, the next place is Sharjah and the northern emirates. We’ve got to be emirate-wide and we’ve to provide equal opportunities emirate-wide as well.”