The Philippine Rugby Football Union is proud to announce that it has been awarded the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Development Award for 2012.
Announced at the ARFU Council Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on June 3, the prestigious award will be formally presented to the PRFU on November 18, 2012 during the ARFU Annual General Meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Asian Rugby Football Union spans a vast territory from Kazakhstan in the north to Indonesia in the south and Lebanon in the west to Guam in the east. Of ARFU’s 28 member unions, 14 are full members of the International Rugby Board: China, Chinese Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. There are a further six associate IRB members in Asia: Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Laos, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan is the newest ARFU associate member union, joining in 2011, following Lebanon and UAE’s admission in December 2009.
The Development Award is given to a group or individual that has achieved outstanding success in the development of Rugby, at any level of the game or in the aspects of playing, coaching, administration, training, capital development or Rugby-related volunteer or charity initiatives. Apart from Philippine Rugby’s successes on the playing field, the ARFU recognized the PRFU’s activities in developing the sport of Rugby at the grassroots level through free training sessions, local 15s, 7s and 10s club leagues and its booming Juniors program which counts students from the International schools as well as several charitable foundations as its participants.
Alvin San Diego, PRFU President commented, “We are honored to be recognized by the Asian Rugby Football Union with this award. Without the efforts of the PRFU team, and more importantly, the many volunteers that persevered when the sport of Rugby was unknown and unheard of in the Philippines, this would not be possible.” He continued, “It has been a great year so far for Philippine Rugby, with the Volcanoes winning promotion to the Asian 5 Nations Elite Division and seeing action in the prestigious Hong Kong 7s International Tournament. We have also seen growth in the local Rugby scene with new teams being formed and more people wanting to try the sport.”
The PRFU offers free Rugby 101 sessions every Monday and Wednesday at PhilSports Field in Pasig and every Sunday at the Sandtrap in Banilad, Cebu. Plans are underway to offer these sessions in Marikina and other areas of the country. Development officers are also teaching the sport to students at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, University of Makati, Quezon City Polytechnic University and to the children of Bahay Bata, Duyan ni Maria, Tuloy Foundation, Child Hope, Bulacan Rugby Club and WE Foundation in Smokey Mountain. The Union has also stepped up its efforts in providing training for coaches and match officials.
In closing, San Diego said “Our aim is to have Rugby become a sport widely recognized and played in the Philippines. This award certainly confirms that we are heading in the right direction. We look forward seeing more Filipinos playing and enjoying the great sport of Rugby.”
Information on Rugby in the Philippines can be found at the PRFU’s official website www.prfu.com or on its social networking sites: www.facebook.com/PhilippinRugby and www.twitter.com/PhilippineRugby.
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