Rugby Africa is elated to announce it will be granting EUR 276,490 for the successful and safe preparations for the restart of its 2021 rugby season, after a very challenging 2020.
The Fund will see 11 of the 39 Unions; Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Zambia, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ghana eligible for the funds. A very targeted approach has been taken to ensure funds are applied where they will have the greatest, immediate impact and highlights the attractiveness of Rugby Africa competitions.
Khaled Babbou President of Rugby Africa said, “This is an exciting day for rugby on the Continent. It clearly illustrates Rugby Africa’s support for its Unions. We have been through extraordinary challenges this year and it is essential that we do everything possible to keep this much-loved sport alive and striving in Africa.”
RA EXCO used the following criteria in awarding the funds:
- 40% of the fund scored on Development –The strength and development level of domestic competitions and the existing support workforce necessary to develop clubs and leagues in a country. A Union Development Questionnaire (using a scoring tool developed by World Rugby) was used in consultation with each Union.
- 60% of the fund scored on Performance – The participation and results of Rugby Africa Unions during the 2018 or 2019 season i.e. Rugby Cup (Men and Women), Sevens (Men and Women) and U20 Barthès Trophy
Depending on their scores, Unions are eligible to receive between EUR 43,736 and EUR 5,027 as part of the Fund. Rugby Africa staff will work closely with the Unions to draft a program to be presented to Senior Management and EXCO for approval before releasing of the funds which is expected early in 2021.
“We are very comfortable with the robust judging criteria used to ensure the fairness of the process and how much each Union will receive,” said Steph Nel: Rugby Service Manager for Africa, World Rugby.
Use of funds
The 11 recipient unions will carefully consider their areas that need the most urgent development or improvement. This could be for example the restart of the domestic leagues, training camps for the national teams to properly prepare ahead of the International/Rugby teams. Some of the unions may require to bolster the staffing of the national teams, and with the Olympic games in the near future, use the funding to pay for participation in the preparation tournaments.
Andrew Owor, Vice President of Rugby Africa said, “We have all lived in unprecedented times this year due to the pandemic. One could never have imagined that globally, all sporting events would be shut down for a number of months. Without the much- needed cash injection, it would have been impossible to see the restart of our competitions, for them to be competitive and to put the players in the best possible position to play entertaining rugby that fans have so sorely missed.”
This Fund is different to the Emergency Solidarity fund that saw Rugby Union paying EUR 117k to 31 Unions for immediate food and medical relief. It assisted the most vulnerable communities with food parcels and/or to supply clubs with masks, sanitizers and medical supplies.