Get Into Rugby North 2016 – End of the Get Into Rugby North conference in Tunis (Tunisia). After 3 days of technical and practice sessions, our 9 trainees have gone back home : Alassane Condé in Mali, Mohamed Aissaoui in Algeria, Abdeljelil Abid in Tunisia, Tarik Frizi in Morocco, Alioune Ndiaye in Senegal, Mahawiya Ouro-Koumoni in Togo, Kossi Armel Dossou in Benin, Anass Ibrahima Bizo in Niger and Bakary Soumahoro in Ivory Coast. All agree to say that this meeting was a real success and that it took place in a studious and welcoming environment. The Tunisian Rugby Union led by a recently elected new board were fantastic hosts. Khaled Babbou, Rugby Africa’s Executive committee member visited the group daily and gave Tunisian shirts to all the participants as a souvenir. All were then invited for dinner by Mr Aref – the new president of the FTR – to discuss the future of the African rugby !
The conference as for it was organized in two stages. First of all classroom sessions, a good opportunity for Charles Yapo and Mostafa Jelti to assess the advancement of the program and for the colleagues to get some inspiration from their neighbors. The girl’s Get Into Rugby project being one of Rugby Africa’s priorities was also evaluated ! The trainees then discussed various points such as training and education and related needs, ideal structure and capacities ; financial support offered by World Rugby and how to best make use of it through purchase of equipment and organization of tournaments or competitions. Lastly the new project called I also play referee enabling children taking part in Get Into Rugby to try refereeing if they wish to was also reviewed. To top it all Rugby Africa gave out 147 “I also play referee” kits to the present unions (backpacks, whistles, caps, bibs).
The Tunisian Rugby Union has for its part, received kits and Get Into Rugby balls as a token of appreciation for its hospitality.
Practice sessions were organized on the beach with two groups of children. The first one was in morning and gathered 22 children, the second was at the beginning of the evening with 14 children. Each trainee got one chance to lead the group and propose activities. All of this under the wise eyes of Charles, Mostafa and Adama Bakhoum, Rugby Africa’s team. Individual interviews concluded the workshop to answer everyone’ s specific needs. The aim in the end was that people in charge of Get Into Rugby would go back to their unions with many new ideas !
The youngsters as well as the older participants enjoyed this conference a lot and it would also undoubtedly have pleased the late Jean-Luc Barthès who should have been the main facilitator.