Following the success of the Philippine Volcanoes Rugby Sevens to the recent 30th SEA Games where the Men’s Team bagged the Gold and the Women’s won the Silver, Filipinos indeed have a great potential of excelling in the sport of Rugby.
Unlike other mainstream sports such as basketball and volleyball, Rugby football needs to be properly introduced at the grassroots level as there are certain misconceptions about the sport such as it being a dangerous full contact sport that only big guys can play. \
What most people don’t know is that Rugby has a non-contact version which can be played by kids and adults, across all sizes, genders and cultures.
Apart from the skills in playing the sport, kids are also taught the values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship which they would need and practice as life skills.
All these are encapsulated in a carefully developed grassroots program called Get Into Rugby (GIR) which is conducted at the community level to spread the love for the sport and possibly develop the future Rugby stars in the country.
Realizing this potential early on, Coach Noel Villa, Filipino-born but raised in the United Kingdom, established the Cagayan de Oro Rugby Football Club (CDO RFC) in 2013.
For six years he worked very hard to develop the sport in Northern Mindanao by teaching Rugby to kids and adults for free. His efforts have reaped several accolades as the CDO Rafters, the local Rugby Team, has won several tournaments within and outside the region starting 2014 despite being such a very young team. However, in order to sustain interest for the sport, it is important to continuously conduct GIR activities in different localities.
Through the invitation of SB Member Jean Suzette Macapayag, CDO RFC’s Founder and Head Coach Noel Villa presented the GIR program to the local officials of the Municipality of Talakag, Province of Bukidnon prior to their 18th regular session of the 20th Sangguniang Bayan.
The dynamic group of councilors warmly welcomed the Program and supported the idea of including non-contact form of Rugby in their local schools.
Soon, CDO RFC will be teaching the sport to young kids through its free rugby clinic which has the foundations of the Get Into Rugby program that is recognized globally.
The Cagayan de Oro Rugby Football Club is the premiere Rugby Club in Northern Mindanao, a duly recognized member of the Philippine Rugby Football Union since 2013.
Its Get Into Rugby program has been significant in the development of Rugby in the Philippines, and has grown the sport through innovative strategies such as the first GIR in the malls, among others.
Coach Noel, a certified World Rugby Coach, has also received several citations from different organizations including an invitation from World Rugby to present the challenges of growing the sport in Northern Mindanao in the year 2015.
For more information about the free GIR Program and CDO RFC’s training schedules, please LIKE and FOLLOW their Facebook page(link) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (By Cagayan de Oro Rugby Football Club)
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