Uganda and Ivory Coast have been recommended to the International Rugby League for Observer Status following their works in developing the sport in different areas across the nations while also focusing on women’s rugby development.
The two nations were recommended by the Middle East Africa Rugby League which is a trading name of the European Rugby League (ERL) Confederation for the sport of Rugby League in the Middle East & Africa. The confederation is currently under formation. It oversees and coordinates the development of the sport in all its members, affiliates, observer countries and territories.
The current member nations of the Middle East Africa rugby league are Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.
Uganda has established eight teams, four each for men and women, and expects to have its first domestic competition up and running in December. The clubs include; Bwerenga Rugby League XIII Club – Central Region; Saza Whales Rugby League XIII Club – Western Region; Musoto Whales Rugby League XIII Club and Busesa Community Rugby League XIII Club – Eastern Region.
Geno Daniel who is the chairman of the Rugby League in Uganda said: “Over the last six months, Rugby League Uganda has embarked on a penetration mission to raise the awareness of the game across regions and schools in the country mainly through conducting clinics, thanks to a job well executed through our director of rugby league, Fortunate Irankunda, who has relentlessly taken lead on this.”
Both Uganda and Ivory Coast recommended to the International Rugby League for Observer Status
Meanwhile, in Cameroon, Carol Manga, who has helped develop the sport in the country, has also taken on the role of general manager in the Ivory Coast. They have developed five clubs: Golden Rugby League Abidjan, Aigle Rugby League XIII, Rugby League Abodo, Faucon Blanc and Rugby League XIII De Yopougon.
“This is as the result of the work of people who believed in this project,” he said. “Together we overcame some difficulties which made us grow. We will pursue this dream and give the dynamic African youth the opportunity to develop through this game. The Ivorian youth will connect with the rugby league. They will acquire life skills such as communication, collaboration and leadership and these values will allow us to strengthen the commitment equally for young girls and women in sports participation.
“To achieve this, the Côte d’Ivoire Rugby League 13 will work in close collaboration with the Ivorian government, its first partner, as well as with non-governmental organisations that have understood and accepted the project.”
Middle East Africa regional director, Remond Safi, noted: “This continues the amazing amount of growth the sport is making throughout the continent. It has been a lengthy process to ensure that there is a robust governance process in place, and their presence strengthens rugby league in East Africa.”
Author: Moses Echodu
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