Following a successful launch of the Tag Rugby programmes in Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja and  Mbale, the bandwagon has extended to the Northern Uganda districts of Gulu and Lira.

The launch by Tag Rugby Trustee, Rob Newman and Trust chairman Martin Hansford, Rugby clubs have now taken on the program to invest in grassroots development that will in the long run boost numbers.

Uganda’s National team household names like Kizza Benon, Micheal Wokorach, Alfred Bijik, Phillip Wokorach, Phillip Pariyo, James Ijiongat,Regina Athieno (Lady Cranes), Asha Nakityo (Lady Cranes) among others are tag rugby graduates.

“Tag center training is TRT’s major program 2013 aimed at increasing participation by involving communities through formation of training centers, it was launched formally on tour this year, it was first introduced in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Entebbe, Gulu and it is going on in Lira” says Dorren Nekesa, one of the Tag Rugby Trust offiicial.

 The Tag Rugby center training at last set foot in Gulu town at the Gulu University play ground with a total of 20 participants trained in Tag Coaching, Media & Journalism level one. The training conducted by Tag Rugby Trust Trainers ensured that all participants were hands on with the skills they later implemented in sessions that involved kids from the University community area.

 Tasked with delivery, day two saw the center kids pace from one try line to the other with the trained coaches mainly Gulu Elephants Rugby club players and community people running through the training module for application. We the media class got busy with capturing the event as it unfolded with photos and interviews.

 “We are so honored to have this program take off in our area, it has not only made Tag Rugby coaches but created rugby awareness at community level and open doors for proper development of rugby structures for the Gulu Elephants Rugby club”, David Olara, the Gulu Elephants coach, Speaking at the closure of the Training aimed at increasing rugby participation.

“I am an IRB level 2 Coach, we have picked on boys from secondary schools rugby programs for club grooming but over the years the program has not managed to assist with building on player numbers, the tag rugby program clearly fits the puzzle for grass root grooming that will ensure sustainability too” Olara clarified further.

 One of the Trainers Stella Kyalikunda said “Gulu has received the program at a time when the need was high. The Gulu Elephants Rugby Club reception of the program was excellent and the kids to kick start the Tag Center opening were so awesome none of them wanted to stop playing as it took them a few ball passes and directives in their local dialect to become one coordinating team, this is the beginning of excellent grass root rugby”.

The Tag center training was sponsored by Toyota Uganda Limited, Engsol, Simba Travel Care, Equator Catering Limited, Terrain Services, Game Discount World, Get Uganda.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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