MUSCAT: Oman National Rugby Team received a new jersey ahead of embarking on an ambitious journey of hosting tourneys and training school children, on Wednesday.
The jersey was received by Nabil al Busaidi aka Nabs, Chairman of Oman Rugby from Dan Wood, MD of Bahwan DHL in the presence of Nico Schütz - CEO Middle East DHL Supply Chain, and Paul Spyropoulos JV Board Member, Bahwan Enterprises.
Speaking to the Observer after receiving the new identity, Nabs said this support to Oman rugby which is having an increasing takers among expatriates living in Oman, will give further boost to the game in the country.
"Although Rugby has been in Oman since 1970's, it's gaining much popularity now in a bigger scale among the residents and reasonably well among citizens. The difference between rugby then and now is that unlike in the past it's an Olympic sport now and more youngsters are getting attracted to the game. The support from DHL is a push towards Omani Olympic team and I'm given the responsibility of spearheading the same," Nabs said.
He further said that there were not many takers for the sport in the past but the scenario is changing and signing the agreement with DHL will attract more budding players.
"We have a long term understanding with Oman Rugby just as we have elsewhere in the world," said Dan.
"DHL key responsibilities is to support the sport and local rugby is really inspiring and we are proud and happy to be part of Oman Rugby," Dan adds.
"We now have a Federation and full time staff to promote the sport and hopefully we will have better push next year with students from international schools and army and Police teams," Nabs said.
As per the schools' programme with the Ministry of education next academic year, the rugby team is meeting with schools and heads of institutions to train both the teachers and students on touch rugby. This will be followed by setting up age groups and inter-school competitions, leagues, like that.
The successful achievement is that Oman Rugby was able to form a military team where the players, after receiving a 2 weeks' training, were able to take on to Middle East championship where they played against teams which were playing for 15 to 20 years.
Although rugby in Oman is in nascent stage, it has become an Associate Member of Asia Rugby which is the continental Federation under world Rugby. Oman Rugby is a member of international touch rugby and Nabs hoped that the sport will see growth from next season.
Rugby is accessible to all, men and women can play in the same team and there is good number of takers for touch rugby and we can pick up the people who are serious about the game, according to Nabs.
"Playing against all Omani tram it's been just two weeks and we are fairing well and we have right guys and they are progressing well."
Oman held 3 rugby tourneys and the last was an international tourney where the team faced opponents from around GCC and it's been considered to be the best tourney held in the middle East. Each one was getting better than the previous one.
"We have another tourney coming up in September Midnight 6's where the games will be played at midnight, under floodlight and it will be coinciding with rugby world cup in France and we will have Muscat 6's and Oman Touch Sixes and each one will get bigger and better," Nabs sounded confident.
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