HOME > English

English

Report from Mr. Ito (JOCV in Sri Lanka)

This is a report from Mr. Yuri Ito, a member of JICA's Volunteers (JOCV). Mr. Ito was dispatched to Sri Lanka from October 2016 to October 2018.

I worked as a JAICA’s first rugby member in Kandy, Sri Lanka for 2 years. Kandy is the second city in Sri Lanka and the entire city is registered as a World Heritage site. There are many famous private schools, each with a strong rugby team. For that reason, rugby is a popular sport in Kandy, but non-competitive schools were lacking instructors and rugby equipment.

First six months:
At the beginning of my time, I tried to let people know my existence. There was a JICA volunteer, Tettta Okada who taught rugby in the 1990 's.  I met Mr. Okada's colleague and went to the match venues to increase coach and referee acquaintance . At the same time, I got accustomed to living on the site and got information on Kandy and rugby in Sri Lanka. I think that this process was the foundation of my two years.

First Year:
After finding the team to coach, I went to practice to coach as much as I could. On a team without official coaches, many dangerous plays such as high tackle and inverse head were seen, so I taught them a safe tackle first. As expected, I experienced frustration and resentment that I have heard from other experienced JICA volunteers such as children losing practice equipment and no one showing up to practice. However, when I look back, I believe that my leadership skills, lack of language skills and the fact that mutual trust has not been built up could have been the cause of what happened. However, I strongly believe that the main reason why I was able to continue coaching there was that every coach and player loved rugby and was proud to get involved.

Finally, it was important to understand the flow of the year in which rugby could and couldn’t be played such as the exam period of the schools and the local events. The first year was the year to find out how to work effectively for the second year.

Second Year:
Around a year after being there, I organized a rugby clinic for local children with the Japanese national women’s 7’s players. Since I had never organized such event, I was very hesitated, first, but senior rugby members encouraged me to do so and I did. As a result, the clinic was very successful and it was well received by people in Sri Lanka. Thanks to this event, I was motivated to keep challenging myself to have no precedent events. Then, I was able to hold an exchange program with Kamaishi city, Iwate prefecture, an exchange game with a team coached by Tokutake who was sent to India as a rugby crew member and the second rugby clinic. Preparation for to go to India was very hard, but I was able to gain valuable experiences such as selecting players myself for the first time as a head coach and making a team.

In parallel with the above-mentioned conspicuous activities, I also tried to spread rugby. Sometimes I took a 3-hour bus ride (one way) to coach 2-hour practice. In the midst of many children who touched the rugby ball for the first time, I tried too hard to make them play rugby, but I started to organize some activities leading to the movement of the rugby such as tags and horse jump. By also creating a series of activity to play with balls at the same time, children started to have more fun and I found myself enjoying coaching more.

The team of Sri Lahura College who coached the most through 2 years changed a lot. I thoroughly consolidated the foundation of passing and tackling. At first, the children did not enjoy tackling practice, but after gaining some confidence and making some tackles in the games, they actively began to practice tackling. When the foundation was in them, I created different situations close to the game such as attaching the opponent and worked on decision-making skills. Ultimately, they became a team that was able to win games. In the U19 league, they advanced to the higher league for the next season and the U16 team won the competition. I think that I was able to build a good relationship of trust with the children. I am proud of them boldly tackling with their small bodies.

Sri Lanka was the only country to have two rugby members dispatched. My colleague, Mori was in Galle, which was far from where I was, but each time I met, I talked to him about my concerns and activities about rugby. Knowing I could talk to Mori was very encouraging and without his support, I could not have done many events alone.

I made many friends in two years and most of them were older than me, but they all treated me with respect and always listened to me. In addition, Sri Lanka Rugby Union is eagerly working on spreading rugby. To continue developing rugby, I felt that developing coaches would become important in the future. I would like people of successor to take over my information and relationships that I have built to keep contributing to the further development of Sri Lanka rugby.

Sri Lanka is rich in nature and has eight World Heritage sites, which I all visited. I also challenged new sports such as surfing and diving that I never did in Japan. Having those experiences was huge factors for me enjoy and embrace the time and culture in Sri Lanka.

I watched the children grow for two years through coaching rugby, moreover, I have been able to grow as a leader and person as well. This whole experience has made me love rugby and Sri Lanka more than ever. I will introduce Sri Lanka as a recommended travel destination. I am looking forward to sharing my experience through rugby coaching, Rugby World Cup, Olympics, and international exchange events in the future.

Report from Mr. Nakano (JOCV in Madagascar)

As a rugby member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, I asked Ms. Yuki Nakano who is working on rugby development in Madagascar from September 2017 about past activities.

I am based in the capital; Antananarivo and my main duties are coaching women’s national 7’s team and regional patrols to support local rugby teams. In Madagascar, rugby is a popular sport aligned with soccer. You can often see children playing rugby on the street and club team competitions are held every weekend. The women’s national 7’s team participated in the Africa Seventh tournament held in May, came in fourth in eight-team-competition and ranks in the middle level in Africa.

When we go regional patrols, we work on brining the level up of local players and rugby. The reason is because there is a big gap in the level between players who play in the capital and rural areas. However, players from rural areas have a big advantage in physicality. By raising the level of the provincial level, the rugby federation is aiming to raise the level of the national team.

In Madagascar most of practice is done in game format. Therefore, players cannot master basic skills such as passing and tackling during the competition period. The national team gathers as a team about three months before the international competitions and practices three times a week. However, during the non-competition season, players work on basic skills to improve their skills. 

Due to the lack of training equipment, players are not able to lift weights, however, we are trying to provide circuit style training once a week to work their physicality. 

When I started to work with the national team, few players came on time for trainings, so we used to wait until there were enough players to start trainings. However, no matter what I tried, the situation did not change so I decided to start practicing on time regardless of the numbers. I also changed the practice time from 2 hours to 1.5 hours so that they can focus on what they have to do with the limited time that they were given. By making the changes that I mentioned, players started to come on time as they could not get enough practice time if they did not come on time and I could see that their mentalities have changed. 

In addition, I only informed the national players about off-season practices, but non-national players heard about the practice sessions and started to participate in practices. 

I feel that attitude to tackle practice is sufficient and I respect the players who voluntarily participate in practice.
I feel that the Madagascar Rugby Federation is focusing on rugby development. However, due to lack of funds, practice tools are short and simply practice cannot be held.

I’ve also noticed when proposing practice ideas to coaches and players or pointing out what problems are, they have a tendency of making excuses saying they are not able to do it. However, when I often listen to their side of stories, for example, one of the causes of late arrival to practice was that there is not much electricity in general; therefore, they had to wash their clothes by hands. In other words, they have to spend time on house chores. 

Understanding that background, I’ve changed my way of connecting with coaches and players and I think that their reactions have changed as well. While I am not able to communicate well with them, I feel the importance of deepening my understanding by accepting their culture and people.  By doing so, I have gained the ability to inspire others. 

Rugby Clinic for female players at Sri Lanka

The national seventh teams participating in Asian Rugby Seventh Series in Sri Lanka visited the Japanese school in Colombo. The women’s national team members held the clinic for the local female players on October 11. 

 

Yuri Ito who was dispatched to Kandy, Sri Lanka as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (hereinafter referred to as "JOCV") returned to Japan when the term ended on October 5. However, with the support of the Japan Rugby Football Union, he was sent to Sri Lanka again to manage the event and support the national team during the event.

 

The children at the Japanese school had never touched rugby balls before so they were curious as they were learning about rugby from Yuri Ito before meeting with the players.

 

The children welcomed the players with the Sri Lankan traditional dance called Kandyan dance as well as one of the trendiest dances in Japan followed by greetings from the captains, Chiharu Nakamura and Kameli Raravou Soejima.

 

At first, the children were overwhelmed by the size of the rugby players. However, once the children were used to the players, they were very excited about passing the balls and having lineout experiences. Comments like “Rugby players are cool. “ and “I want to play more rugby.” were something that could be heard throughout the event. Many kids rushed to cheer for the final game on the 14th, which might have become the driving force for winning the tournament for both men and women. 

 

At the Colombo Racecourse Stadium, which was the venue of the tournament, a rugby clinic was held for Sri Lankan female players by the women’s national team player for second consecutive years.

 

Twenty players participated in the clinic. They had passing games, two-on-one and tackling practice. With regard to tackling practice, Sri Lankan players were able to receive individual advice from the national players, such as binding with both hands and foot position. In the beginning, the players were afraid of tackling, but by the end they were able to tackle the national players. From the Sri Lankan players, there were questions such as "How can I have a body that doesn’t get tired too easily?"  or "How can I have a strong body?” the Japanese national players responded saying, "Eat a lot, sleep well and practice!" the Sri Lankan players also enjoyed watching the national team practice after the clinic. 

 

 

Comment from Yuri Ito:

 

I would like to thank Japan Rugby Football Union as well as the national players for supporting this event. I am grateful that I was able to work again in Sri Lanka. For this event, there was more support this year than last year from JOCV volunteers. It was great to see not only Sri Lankans had a chance to get to know rugby, but also the Japanese people who live in Sri Lanka including the children from the Japanese school. As a culmination of 2 years of activities, good memories were made. I hope that such activities will continue in the future and Sri Lanka Rugby will further develop.

1st Asian Rugby Exchange Fest was held in Fukuoka

The 1st Asian Rugby Exchange Fest was held in Fukuoka, co-organized by RWC2019 FUKUOKA COMMITTEE and Japan Rugby Football Union, as part of "Impact Beyond 2019".

Date: October 7th, 2018
Place: Kasuga Park Playing Field (Fukuoka)
Contents: X Rugby

For details, please click here. (Please select your favorite language)

Invitational program from Indonesia

Invitational program for rugby coaches from the Republic of Indonesia was conducted from Sep 13 to 19, under the“Sport for Tomorrow”program.

For details, please click here.

JENESYS 2018 Japan-ASEAN Sports Exchange (Rugby)

JENESYS 2018,  an international exchange project for ASEAN countries and East Timor youths, uses rugby as part of “Impact Beyond 2019” through Asian Scrum Project. It was held from September 21stto 23rdin Gotemba, Shizuoka and organized by JRFU.

The purpose of this project is to increase the awareness of Rugby World Cup in 2019 in Japan and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo in 2020. This is the third consecutive year since 2016 that this project has been held and the participants were invited from 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and East Timor. The participants included youths, officials from each rugby union/federation and supervisors from each country.

This year, there were 164 participants who visited Tokyo and Shizuoka. At the Tokinosumika Sports Centre in Shizuoka, the practices and friendly matches were held with the support of Tokai University Shizuoka Shoyo High School Female rugby team, Shizuoka Rugby Football Union and student s’ coaches.  Shizuoka is one of the host cities of next year’s RWC and this project was able to make a huge contribution towards the Shizoka’s legacy program.

JICA Volunteers Recruitment Notice

JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) is looking for volunteers to go to Madagascar, Uzbekistan, India and Sri Lanka for rugby-related work.

The application period is from October 1st to noon on November 1st.
Please refer to the JICA Volunteer Page for details about the application method. 

■JICA Volunteer Page
■Request Information 
■Application Page
【Overview】
1) Madagascar
Destination:Madagascar Federation
Dispatch Period:After September, 2019 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
To spread rugby in Madagascar as well as for the expansion of player population in rural areas. 
Providing technical guidance for young people and the national team with suggestions of new practice method etc.
Qualification Requirements:2 or more years of coaching experience and male

2) Uzbekistan
Destination:Uzbekistan Rugby Union
Dispatch Period:After September, 2019 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
Be part of the Uzbekistan Rugby Union in the capital city of Tashkent and will coach rugby players from beginners to club level. Also, advice to the union for spreading rugby and guidance to local teams to participate in the domestic tournaments are required.
Qualification Requirements:5 or more years of playing experience with WR Level 1 coaching certificate

3) India
Destination:Indian Rugby Union/Province of Rajasthan (Placement Place)
Dispatch Period:After July, 2019 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties
As a coach of the Indian Rugby Football Union, assisting, spreading and strengthening Rajasthan's rugby. Sharing your own knowledge and experience with local coaches for their improvement of their coaching skills.
Qualification Requirements:Prefer to have rugby coaching certificate

4) India
Destination:Indian Rugby Union
Dispatch Period:After July, 2019 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties
Coach at private schools (that is active in rugby) as well as local junior high school, high school and club team.
Qualification Requirements:Prefer to have university diploma and WR Level 1 coaching certificate (possible to retain WR Level 1 coaching certificate after getting the volunteer opportunity)

5) Sri Lanka
Destination:Sri Lanka Rugby Union(Avissawella)
Dispatch Period:After September, 2019 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties
Plan and carry out rugby classes for beginners with rugby instructors. Provide guidance to regional club teams, instructors and players of the national team. Instruct instructors and athletes in schools and local areas.
Qualification Requirements:3 or more years of playing experience

Report from Mr. Yamamoto (JOCV in Uzubekistan)

This is a report from Mr. Tadaaki Yamamoto, a member of JICA's Volunteers (JOCV). Mr. Yamamoto is dispatching to Uzbekistan from July 2017.

Activity Report 
I am mainly coaching in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, and may also visit other cities to coach. In Uzbekistan, there are club teams in various areas. In the first year, I traveled and coached different teams once a month and have participated in the practice of seven teams including the local city Bukhara. In each club, there are about 20 players, both male and female, between the ages of 10 and 20 years. The experience levels vary as some players just started to play and some have been playing for a few years, therefore, we can only practice basic skills such as passing. However, everyone's motivation gets very high when it comes to practicing game format, which I think is the same everywhere in the world. The practice frequency depends on the team and the season, for example, some teams practice three times a week and some teams practice six times a week.
Regarding the weather, because Uzbekistan has many deserts, it is very dry. The temperature rises to nearly 50 ° C in the summer and drops to -15 ° C in the winter. Summer is very hot, but the humidity is not high compared to Japan so it feels cool in the shade. For that reason, everyone goes to the shade during the practice break. Because it is very cold in winter, I often practice weight training and indoors. Although I played rugby several times outside, the core of my bone cooled down and I was trembling all the time, but the kids were running cheerfully.

Difficulty 
When I coached for a month in the local city Bukhara, rugby had only been introduced a month before I went. The coaches had never played rugby so I was wondering how they were practicing. When I observed their practice for the first time, the players did not pass the ball forward, they were blocking similar to American football (players who do not have a ball interfere with defense), and they did an alley-oop, similar to when playing basketball (catch a mountain pass in the air and dunk). I was surprised to hear when the coaches asked me "This is rugby, isn’t it!?” That’s where we started and from there, I taught them that rugby is a sport that cannot block other players and you must pass the ball to your teammate’s chest rather than using alley-oop pass. I used YouTube and some materials in Excel. After working together for a while, they stopped blocking, but the alley-oop pass had become a habit so there was still a need for improvement. It was only a month that we practiced together, but we spent time together doing things other than rugby such as going out to eat and watching soccer together. It was a very fun month. The local children contact me every once a while asking when I am coming back. I'd like to visit Bukhara again in the second year.


Previous coaching experience
I started playing rugby in junior high school, through high school, university and all the way up to the club level.  Before being dispatched, I had never coached rugby before.
In addition to learning about technical cooperation training coaching before being dispatched, I got the World Rugby coaching qualification at a seminar hosted by JRFU and prepared to be a coach.

Characteristics of Uzbekistan rugby
Uzbekistan is known for individual sports such as martial arts and many players have been transferred from other martial arts such as judo and boxing to rugby. For that reason, athletes are very competitive. For example, when you compete in running, you often see athletes saying, "I slipped" or " I could have run faster if I were wearing cleats". 
During my first year, the Uzbekistan National Rugby Tournament was held twice. Rugby teams gather in the capital city, Tashkent. Some teams came from the areas that I have not visited yet. There were seven men’s and five women’s teams who participated playing both 7’s and 15’s rugby in the tournament and the tournament was held over two-day period.  As a prize, trophies, medals and other awards were available so the players were more competitive than usual.

My goals for the second year
In the first year, I wanted to be part of Uzbekistan rugby so I worked very hard to earn their trust. As a result, I received some comments and questions such as "What is missing from my team and how do we improve from here? ", "When Yamamoto comes, everyone gets positive and everyone has fun playing rugby" and “When are you coming to visit our teams?".  And some players said to me "You are my brother". These comments have been the driving force of my stay here in Uzbekistan. 
I strongly believe that I am here today in Uzbekistan coaching rugby and having fun because of my junior high school coach who taught me about the enjoyment of rugby. Therefore, in my last year, I want to be a coach that allows players to like and enjoy rugby. At the same time, I will work to increase the number of coaches so more than one person can deliver my guidance.

Announcement of JOCV dispatching to Indonesia

The Foundation Japan Rugby Football Union (President, Tasashi Okamura), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA, President, Shinichi Kitaoka) received the cooperation of, contribution activities "Asian Scrum project of the Asian Rugby tackle the Hay Association ". As  part of the JICA volunteer project, we will dispatch rugby leaders to the Republic of Indonesia as follows:

In this dispatch, the following activities are planned,
1. Advice and recommendations on coaching methods for Indonesian coaches.
2. Support coaching staff activities as well as to guide the representative level of 15’s and 7’s  for both men and women.
3. Guide juniors and women's groups and promote rugby agreed with the Indonesian-Rugby Association. 

Name: Subaru Higa
Profile: Okinawa Prefecture
Destination: Republic of Indonesia
Association: Indonesian Rugby Association
Dispatch period: July 31, 2018 - July 30, 2019

【Temporary comment】
I will do my best for Indonesia focusing on the spirit of “all for one and one for all” and the spirit of “No side!”.

In addition, Higa will be dispatched as Memorandum of Understanding on JICA's Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and Ryutsu Keizai University.
Our association and JICA signed a collaboration agreement in July 2013 as "JICA-JRFU Scrum Project". We will continue to dispatch rugby leaders as JICA volunteers to contribute to the development of healthy young people in developing countries. At the same time, we will continue to plan for the development of human resources for stakeholders in our country.

International Cooperation Section - 1st Discussion

Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) Rugby Development International Cooperation Section held a discussion session on July 23rd.

 

The Study Council is formed by related groups of the Asian Scrum Project (ASP), with the aim of implementing effective projects and ongoing efforts of international cooperation through sports after 2020.

 

We will continue to cooperate with related groups so that we can implement better projects for ASP.

JOCV Rugby Members Returning to Japan Reports

Three rugby members from the Japan Overseas Corporation Volunteers arrived back to Japan after each spending 2 years in India, Kyrgystan and Sri Lanka. On July 10, returning members gave their activity reports. One member, who has been dispatched to Indonesia, presented his activity plans.

 

Kurume Yuhei was involved in finding and coaching a new rugby club at the National Sports Academy of Kyrgyzstan. It first started with 4 players, but as a result of steady activities, the number of players increased to 15. He was glad to see players who did not initially know how to play rugby continue to learn and practice. Eventually they learned the rules and how to play the game.

 

 There were days when I was worried about who would be interested in rugby, but I thought about why I like rugby and the reasons were that I wanted to go to Kyrgyzstan as a volunteer. I was aware that having fun and developing different activities was the best way to learn rugby.

 

Mori Makoto was based at the Sports Promotion Section of Galle Country Office, Sri Lanka. He realized that children in Sri Lanka deeply enjoy sports. There are so many cultural experiences to share. For example, seeing players eating nuts off the tress during practice was very shocking. Recognizing and communicating other values and cultures was the most valuable lesson that he learned.

 

Tokutake Hiroki, who participated in a video conference, said that he felt a lot of affection through activities in India. One day he would like to to go back to India.

Higa Subaru, who will be dispatched to Indonesia, said that he would like to build a program that will spread rugby in Indonesia.


Questions for Kurume Yohei & Makoto Mori:

 

1. How should I prepare to go overseas and be a rugby member for JICA?

Kurume responded, "I did not prepare anything at all because I wanted to find everything with my own eyes”.

Mori responded, "Sri Lanka is a country of other ethnic religions, so knowing what not to do and taboos in advance will be very helpful”.

2. What are their plans in the future?

Both volunteers said that they wanted to get involved with the 2019 Rugby World Cup and/or 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. By participating in the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers. Feeling towards rugby have become even stronger.

JOCVs' Friendly Rugby Match in India

Over a two day period from June 16 (Saturday) to 17 (Sunday), Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs), three of whom were dispatched to India and Sri Lanka in Oshika, Bhubaneswar, played an international friendly game.
At the event organized and hosted by the Indian Rugby Football Association, there was a rugby clinic run by Masatoshi Mukoyama, former Japan representative player participating in the event, youth overseas cooperation volunteer's presentation and presentation by the players' representatives from each team.

JOCVs' Comments
India: Hiroki Tokutake
The children I was coaching were worried about whether the Sri Lankan team would really come or not with tension and expectation as a host. I was also looking forward to seeing two of the same JOCVs like myself.
When the Sri Lanka team arrived, I was nervous at first and could not talk, but I gradually blended with them and had strong feelings about wanting to have the match.  Through the presentation of JOCVs and the entire event, I was pleased that we were able to reconfirm what our coaches, our members and players themselves were working on over the last two years.
I never thought that the players who three of us coached would have a game so this project was just a dream match and I was very proud of my players regardless of the result of the game. I felt it was good to be a rugby crewmember for two years, and my relationship with the children got stronger.
Not only rugby, I think that sports are wonderful because sports have this excitement, and I hope my players with this experience will pass down what they learned to the next generation.

Sri Lanka: Yuri Ito
Because the preparation period was short and the number of practices we had was limited, I worked on practices with an emphasis on communication. The most difficult thing was getting passports and visas for players. We were not able to get all the necessary documents and some documents that we got were incomplete so I was always nervous about it. As soon as the players arrived at KISS, they were puzzled by the language barrier, but through practice they managed to find a way to communicate. In Sri Lanka, there are few opportunities to learn scrum professionally, so the forward players were stimulated by the enthusiastic scrum guidance of the Japanese coach.
I was able to receive guidance from a professional coach overseas for the first time and it was a good experience for every player. With the Friendly Match it was possible to play and win the difficult games without giving up to the end. I think that was also a valuable experience.
Besides winning the all games, players learned a lot of other skills such as ground manners. I myself felt that I could get along with anybody as soon as I said I like rugby even though the language and culture were different. I don’t have a lot of time left in Sri Lanka to coach rugby, but I will try to get the best out of everything until I go back. 

Sri Lanka: Makoto Mori 
For friendly matches, children started to concentrate more on practices and practiced five times a week. The number of children participating also increased and the children started to work on individual skills that they needed to work on, but most importantly the quality of the practice improved and the team became a unit. 
Compared to Sri Lanka, India was very hot, but the children actively worked and fought to the end without giving up to Indian players who are more skillful in the game. The speed and skill sets of Indian players were a good stimulus. The girls' team in Sri Lanka had few opportunities to compete in the country, so it was a very good experience. The children from Sri Lanka were able to feel and see the level that Indian children were playing at and they said that they want to be better at it. 
In relays and games organized by the children of both countries, it became possible to communicate with each other and they all said that they really enjoyed it and they would like to see each other again in the future.
In addition, the coaches who participated felt the differences in the environment especially how well they practiced. The Sri Lankan girl’s team who is not well equipped should be devised to upgrade their level in the future.
It was truly wonderful to see children from two different countries with two different cultures interact and cooperate together through rugby and witnessing both teams fighting desperately with each other's strength.
I really appreciate the support and efforts of the Friendship Match held. 
Thank you very much.

Participant Wanted:JOCV Repatriation Report

【Participant Wanted】 JOCV Rugby Unit Repatriation Reports / Farewell Reception (July 10th)

Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) is involved in the "JICA-JRFU Scrum Project" that dispatches Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) and Senior Volunteers with rugby as a job in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

We are pleased to announce the activity report by three rugby members of the JOCV who returned from India, Kyrgyz and Sri Lanka after the two years of activity. At the same time, the presentation of the activity plan by one rugby member who will be dispatched to Indonesia from the following schedule, will be held.

If you are interested in international cooperation through rugby, please join us on this occasion.
Please note that it will be a pre-registration system.

This report will be done only in Japanese.

Date and Time: July 10th, 2018 From 6pm to 8pm (Door opens at 5:30pm)
Place: JICA Research Centre (in Ichigaya)

 

https://www.jica.go.jp/jica-ri/about/access.html

 Contents:
About JICA volunteer
・About JRFU's international cooperation projects
Report on implementation status of JICA-JRFU scrum project
・Activity report by three rugby members
Yohei Kurume (Kyrgyz)
Hiroki Tokutake (India)
Makoto Mori (Sri Lanka)

Activity Plan for Indonesia from Subaru Higa, first squad scheduled to be dispatched in 2018
・Q & A
* The contents may be changed.

Participation method: Advance application from the website below

(Capacity 40 people, first come first served basis)

https://goo.gl/forms/9Nz30xOmHvVKy7iw1


*About JICA-SRFU Scrum Project

JICA Partnership Will Promote Rugby in Asia Ahead of the 2019 World Cup

As Japan is awarded the 2020 Summer Olympics, another international sporting effort moves forward

https://www.jica.go.jp/english/low/news/field/2013/130910_01.html

Tag Rugby Teacher Workshop at JICA NTC

The Tag Rugby Teacher Workshop at JICA Nihonmatsu Training Center:
On June 10th, the Tag Rugby Teacher Workshop was held at the JICA Nihonmatsu Training Centre in Fukushima for the candidate trainees. 

The Tag Rugby Teacher Workshop the JICA training center was held for the third time. There were 14 candidate trainees; some will be dispatched to Indonesia for rugby and the others will be dispatched to 11 different countries in Asia and Africa to work at elementary schools and swimming facilities etc.. 

In developing countries, the recognition of rugby is not high. However, it is said that it is a sport that is accepted as a new sport without prejudice and can be started without having any previous experience. For this reason, men and women play together. Additionally, people who do not regularly exercise will have an opportunity to participate and exercise without feeling so conscious about it. It is also suitable as a tool to utilize in various situations to nurture team work and learn how to communicate.

Some comments from participants are:  "3 hours of training went by in the blink of an eye" and "I would like to incorporate it into activities in my host country!"

Interview with Mr. Hiroki Tokutake(JOCV in India)

This is an interview with Mr. Hiroki Tokutake, a member of JICA's Volunteers (JOCV)*. Mr. Hiroki Tokutake has been spreading rugby around India (Bhubaneswar Odyshia). Ai Nakamura, from the Japan Rugby Football Union, International Cooperation Section, conducted the interview.

Could you please tell me about your responsibilities and activities?
I am coaching a rugby team at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). The school was established to support training for minority groups between the ages of 9 and 23 years old. There are approximately 27,000 students in all the schools and over 500 rugby team members. However, there are only 2 coaches who have been dispatched to Bhubaneswar since the summer of 2016 as Overseas Cooperation Volunteer from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

I am surprised to hear that you are coaching 500 players. I don’t believe there is a coach in Japan who is coaching so many players.
KISS is an educational institution for disadvantaged children. Living  and school expenses are covered by donation, and there is no economic burden to the students. The number of students is the largest in the world as a school that can study and live for free. I heard that it is published in the Guinness Book.
It is not possible to coach all the players at once, but I like to engage with as many players as possible.

Did you have any coaching experience before going to India?
 No, I didn’t. I played rugby in high school and university, so I wanted to take advantage of my player's experience in coaching.

Could you please give me some examples? And what are some features of Japanese rugby?
 Japanese rugby has the "One for all, all for one" and "No side" spirit. With this kind of spirit, KISS works on important values such as thanking the grounds keeper and arranging the balls after practice. When I started to work at the school, players were very quiet and quietly made passes during practice. Since rugby is a team sport, I continually emphasize the importance of respecting friends and teamwork, and now I hear a shouting call "Charo Charo!" (In Japanese, it means: "Come this way!" "Quick, quick!" and "Pass!") .

Your awareness is spreading. Is there anything else you have devised or struggled with?
As a characteristic of Indian people, they say they do what is is their mind no matter whom they are talking to. They also have a habit of not doing things that they don’t want to do. However, when they like something or have a motivation to do something, they do their best. When talking about rugby practice, they don’t like tackling practice, but they like offence/attack practice. Therefore, I have to be conscious about practice menus and make sure that there are “fun” components. Even though they have a habit of not doing things that they don’t want to do, they are very patient and have a strong mentality so although they don’t like to practice tackling, when it comes to a game, they go hard at their opponents to tackle which I admire. 

I can feel that you respect the culture and people in India. 
Indian people treat everyone equally and I sometimes feel like I am more myself than when I was living in Japan. I feel accepted and loved.

Are there any parts of you where you feel you have grown by coaching rugby as a JICA Overseas Cooperation Volunteer?
When I came to KISS, I noticed that rugby is a sport that cannot be done without compassion. On the day my players played the game for the first time, the players said "Thank you", I felt this was the real pleasure of coaching and  I thought to myself that I wanted to learn more rugby.

Mr. Toru Jinguji who coached you at university was dispatched from Japan as a coach of the Indian national team.
I was surprised from the beginning as I heard that the coach of the alma mater (Yamanashi Gakuin University) was coming to coach the Indian national team. I decided to apply for the Overseas Cooperation Volunteers myself, so I did not consult with Mr. Jinguji. In other words, this was the first time to see Mr. Jinguji since I graduated from university, but I was very happy that Indian Rugby was exposed and
I wanted to support Mr. Jinguji as much as I could (mainly this time as an interpreter).

In July, you will return to Japan after completing the 2-year term, how will you use your experience upon your return?
All KISS students say the world has opened up through rugby. There are a quite few students who want to give back to KISS. I have become positive and I am very grateful to India for the experiences that I have been able to have. Someday I hope to visit India again and become the bridge between Japan and Indian rugby.

Mr. Tokutake said that he would be very happy if children enjoy playing rugby in the last 2 months of his time in India. From Tokutake's word, "I got a love from India", I heard proudness with gratitude, humbleness and respect.

For the 2019 Rugby World Cup, prevailing rugby in Asia is urgently needed. Japan Rugby Football Union will continue to support through the Asian Scrum Project so that children who have touched the pleasure of rugby by Mr. Tokutake will continue to be familiar with rugby. (Ai Nakamura, Japan Rugby Football Union, International Cooperation Section) 

*JICA's volunteer
https://www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/types_of_assistance/citizen/volunteers.html

3rd week: Activity Report in India(5/14-24)

The "Goal" of the Indian national team is "to win the Asian championships".

 

My "missions" are as follows:

 

① Strengthen the Indian national team

② Improve the Indian rugby culture

③ To become a bridge between Indian rugby and Japanese rugby

 

Unfortunately, we were unable to win the two games at the Asian Championship against Thailand and Chinese Taipei. 

 

The representative training camp started with 40 people, but finished with 26 people.

Many athletes have backgrounds that are unimaginable, especially for Japan. I believe that each player did their best in the training camp to be chosen as a representative.

 

I would like to thank all the players, coaches and the stakeholders who participated in the training camp. I feel responsible for not achieving the goal.

However, I think Indian rugby has the potential to become very strong.

 

Some of my observations are below:

 

The environment of rugby was not good and what I thought was normal in Japan did not apply in India.

 

For example,

 

· The ground condition was in an uneven state and it was like between the turf and the ground, and it turns into a pool when it rains.

Therefore, the next morning's joke was always "Are you going to swimming today?" Indian players love jokes.

 

· Temperature was always around 45 degrees, occasional the sensible temperature exceeds 50 . Therefore, practice could only be done in the early morning and/or evening.

 

· Each player brings their own water. Due to the harsh conditions, it is necessary to have a water break as many times as possible during practice.

 

Water break is Panipiyo! When I shout Darpiyo, everyone laughed,

Pani Piyo "Drink water", Darpiyo "Drink alcohol!", Dutopiyo mean "Drink milk!"

 

· Balls are old and used a lot so there is no grip and everything slips. The number of markers is small and there isn’t enough equipment to practice such as tackle dummies.

 

· Disk type markers brought from Japan were very useful, but local children playing disc markers as boomerangs, so even if you set them before practice, there are no disc markers in the place.

 

· Grand lines are set-up/marked by players. (Only for some special events, they get some help from children in the neighborhood. There are no marks of 22 m line or 10 m line so use surrounding resources such as trees as a marker.

 

· There are a few street-like lights available on the ground and it is not bright enough. However, strangely, even in the dark we can play a certain extent and for whatever reason, the players enjoyed playing in the dark.

 

· They always give priority to themselves, but as soon as something happened to their teammates, they would run to their teammates to make sure that everything is ok. Indian people are very passionate for their families and friends.

 

· Stray dogs were often found at the ground during practice and you would encounter many mosquitoes (like 100 of them).

 

Finally, I had three missions:

① Strengthen Indian national team

② Improve the Indian rugby culture

③ To become a bridge between Indian rugby and Japanese rugby

 

I do not know whether I achieved my mission.

I do not even know what I left to them.

However, the experiences that we had together were something that I am very proud of.

 

Indian rugby has a potential to be strong.

Why I say that? Because they enjoy playing the game.

 

I love Indian Rugby.

What I can say about this experience is that it doesn’t matter where you are from, where you go or what you do, rugby is rugby and rugby players are rugby players.

 

I crossed the ocean in order to contribute to the Indian national team, but I gained a valuable experience that I would like to study.

I would like to continue to exchange information and share knowledge so that I can continue to be the bridge between India and Japan.

Thank you for all the people involved in Indian rugby.

 

1 · 2 · 3 Bharat! !

2nd week: Activity Report in India(5/7-13)

I am getting used to the life in India and getting along with the players very well, therefore, my life is very satisfying.


In many ways, the Indian culture is different from the Japanese culture. For example, if I ask players in Japan to do a specific drill 5 times, completing the drill 5 times is important regardless of outcome. However, in India, if players are satisfied with an outcome before reaching 5 times, they will wrap up a practice, but if they are not happy with an outcome, they will say “one more time” until they are happy with the outcome. It is difficult to say which is better, but it is also at these moments that you realize their strength of their self-assertiveness.

I personally feel that there are a lot that Japanese rugby players can learn from the Indian culture to be better and compete at the highest level.

The squad for the Thailand tour has been chosen through two selection matches. Currently, we are making final adjustments for the game. We have our morning training at 6:30am and evening training at 5:30pm as India's daytime temperature exceeds 40 degrees or higher although it is around 30 degrees when we have training sessions. The key to strength training in India has been the need for new ideas and variations for training methods. In other words, improving skills for coaches.

There are a lot of tasks in order to win, but I'd like to bring the team in a simple fashion and have good matches against Thailand and Chinese Taipei.

1st week: Activity Report in India(4/30-5/6)

Life in India is a series of precious experiences and something unexpected happens every day. Therefore, how to get over the current situation happily is one of themes of my life in India.

I run a series of practices such as Defence, Breakdown, Off road, Handling and Unit practice which I pick and choose as needed. However, after being here for a while, we don’t only focus on individual skills, but we also focus on weaknesses and turn them around as their strengths

Seeing them every day makes our relationship closer, but I have also realized that by me trying to speak a little Hindu, I have been successful in making them feel relaxed during the practice. 

Off the field, there are only words of gratitude to the players. They are very welcoming and warm because they invite me to their home, take me to Taj Mahal and so on.

I did not know anything about rugby in India and the national team before coming, but they work very hard and are positive which reminds me of the grass root of rugby.

I would like to do my best to be a bridge between India Rugby and Japan Rugby.

Dispatching a coach to India national team

As part of the Asian Scrum Project, the Japan Rugby Football Union will dispatch a coach as follows based on the request from the Indian Rugby Football Union.

1. Dispatch country: India
2. Dispatch period: April 30th, 2018 to May 24th, 2018
3. Dispatched personnel: Toru Jinguji (Head coach of Yamanashi Gakuin University)
4. Responsibilities: 
Coach Indian national team
Rugby Indian national team band to Asian Rugby Championship Div-2 to be held in Thailand

Comment from Toru Jinguji: I will do my best to contribute to Indian rugby. In addition, I would like to be a bridge between Indian rugby and Japanese rugby.

JICA volunteers' world diary (Madagascar)

"JICA volunteers' world diary" is the blog that tells you how JICA volunteers are doing around the world. Yuki Nakano who is in Madagascar has some report on life in Madagascar and how rugby is and rugby activities that he has been working on. 

For more details, please click here. (Source JICA)
(The site has japanese language only)

The new vision of the Asian Scrum Project

At Japan Rugby Football Union, we are promoting the "Asian Scrum Project" which has spread rugby throughout Asia since 2011. 

With the RWC 2019 being held next year, the Japan Rugby Football Union International Cooperation Section has the new vision for the Asian Scrum Project "Engage, Asia!" which will spread rugby to the world from Asia.

【Vision】
Engage, Asia!
“Asia and Japan Rugby inspire the world through the Spirit of Rugby!”

【Goals】
1. Development of rugby in Asia
2. Deepening mutual understanding and symbiosis through rugby
3. Social return by human resources nurtured through participation experience

【Core Spirit】
The Asian Scrum Project is based on four core spirits listed in "Japan Rugby Strategic Plan 2016-2020".
1. One for All, All for One
2. Spirit of 'No Side'
3. Innovation and Hard Work
4. Diversity and Teamwork

【Sustainable development goals(SDGs)】
In the Asian Scrum Project, we are addressing the following three goals, among 17 goals of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

*The Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs) are international targets from 2016 to 2030 as stated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015.
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

RKU:JICA short-term volunteer rugby activities

JICA Indonesia short-term volunteer rugby dissemination activities by Ryutsu Keizai University.

From February 19th to March 17th, we visited Jakaruta, Bojonegoro Yogyakarta and Palembang in Indonesia to disseminate rugby for over 3,000 people.

 

Before leaving to Indonesia and in order for us to operate our missions smoothly, we divided our missions into 4 categories; "coaching", "medical strength & conditioning", "referee · analysis" and "dissemination". Moreover, we used “why”, “what” and “how” method to have clear visions of how to achieve our goals.

 

For the first few days after arriving in Jakarta, we met with the Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Rugby Union to understand the current state of Indonesian rugby and the goals for the rugby union.

 

Before leaving to Indonesia, we often had meetings about dissemination activities and thought we were ready. However, once we arrived to Indonesia, we tried to communicate with the local people but we had some difficulties communicating with them. On top that, there were more tasks than we anticipated to do.  We now have a better understanding of the difficulty of disseminating activities.  

 

There were many things that could not be conveyed in words, but we used body languages, gestures and a little bit of Indonesian language to communicate. Therefore, we were able to deliver the disseminated activities that we wanted to.

 

We were very pleased about the attitude that children from elementary to university had towards to rugby. Because of that, we enjoyed working and disseminating rugby with them.

 

The schools that we visited seemed to have some differences in the environments, but no matter what the environments were, everyone seemed to enjoy rugby.

 

We learned and gained a lot while we were in Indonesia and I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the project.

Activity Place:Indonesia(Jakaruta, Bojonegoro Yogyakarta and Palembang)
Dispatch Period:From February 19th to March 17th

Asian Scrum Project: Report from the JOCV

Yohei Kurume (In Kyrgyzstan since 2016)
Destination: Kyrgyz national sports academy
Coached students between the ages of 16 to 22, three times a week, at the Kyrgyz national sports academy as well as played in outside tournaments with neighboring countries (Uzbekistan / Kazakhstan).

Message from Yohei Kurume:
“Let’s try!” spirit is something that I found very valuable.

Make the best of going abroad for 2 years! Rugby will help you grow and I can say that I have changed myself over the last 2 years. For example, the way I think, how I get to close to people and how I feel happy about small things.

If you want to make changes in your life or if you want to get yourself involved in rugby, but do not know how and where to start, I highly recommend applying for this opportunity.

What people have to do to change themselves is to "change their environment."

Just try it before you think about it too much!


Yuri Ito (In Sri Lanka since 2016)
Destination: Central Province Rugby Union
Coached students between the ages of 10 to 20, six times a week, in and around Kandi city as well as spread girls’ rugby.

Message from Yuri:
I have realized two things that I had forgotten about by seeing kids practice every day. The first is why they play rugby and the second is that rugby is fun!

By sending coaches, we can be involved in the development of rugby across the border in Asia. This is a great opportunity for you to get involved!

Tadaaki Yamamoto (In Uzbekistan since 2017)
Destination: Uzbekistan Rugby Federation

Coached students between the ages of 10 to 20 at the local club. Some players who he coached represented the U – 18 National team. Teams that he coached changed every month and he has coached 6 teams in total.

Message from Tadaaki:
As a player, I was never chosen for any rep teams, but I applied for this position because I love rugby. In addition, I had never coached rugby until I went to Uzbekistan, however, I took coaching workshops, which got me ready and feeling confident about going to Uzbekistan.

Recently, I’ve realized that the same areas which have led to my personal growth have been the same areas that have led to the improvements of this country. Having kids love rugby more is motivating and I will continue to work hard with local coaches and we will work towards raising the level of both coaches and athletes.

JICA Recruitment Notice for Laos and India

JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Recruitment Notice for Laos and India (Application Perido: From April 2nd to noon on May 1st)
JICA is looking for volunteers to go to India or Laos for rugby-related work.
The application period is from April 2nd to noon on May 1st.
Please refer to the JICA Volunteer Page for details about the application method. 
■JICA Volunteer Page

■Request Information 

■Application Page
【Overview】
1)Sri Lanka
Destination:Sri Lanka Rugby Union (Kandy)
Dispatch Period:After December, 2018 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
1. Planning and implementation of rugby lessons/events for beginners.
2. Help coaching local club teams and national team as well as coaching local and national level coaches.
3. Coach school children and coaches in other areas/regions. 

Qualification Requirements:3 years or more of playing experience. WR Coaching level 1 or higher (possible to acquire the coaching license after passing)

2)Sri Lanka
Destination:Sri Lanka Rugby Union (Avissawella)
Dispatch Period:After December, 2018 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
1. Planning and implementation of rugby lessons/events for beginners.
2. Help coaching local club teams and national team as well as coaching local and national level coaches.
3. Coach school children and coaches in other areas/regions. 

Qualification Requirements:3 years or more of playing experience. WR Coaching level 1 or higher (possible to acquire the coaching license after passing)

3)Laos
Destination:Lao Rugby Federation 
Dispatch Period:After December, 2018 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
Be part of the Lao Rugby Federation, which is located in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, to disseminate rugby for children in schools and surrounding communities. In addition, you will work closely with leaders who disseminate rugby and help the national team in any possible capacity. 
Qualification Requirements:5 years or more of playing experience, WR Coaching Level 1 or higher (possible to acquire the coaching license after passing)

4)India
Destination: India Rugby Football Union (Activity Place: Gujarat Province Rugby Football Union)
Dispatch Period:After December, 2018 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
1.  Support for improving the competitiveness of athletes through improving training & workshops, and improving the leadership skills of local coaches. 
These duties will take place in the morning of Monday to Thursday or Saturday to Sunday between 5:30am to 7:30am and in the evening between 3:30pm to 5:30pm.
2. Travel outside the provinces for tournaments.
3. Operation support at various IRFU and GRFA events and conventions. 
4. Training camps’ support for the provincial and national teams.
Qualification Requirements: 3 years or more of playing experience. Coaching experience is an asset.

5)India
Destination:: India Rugby Football Union (Activity Place: Rajasthan Province Rugby Football Union)
Dispatch Period:After December, 2018 (for 2 years)
Responsibilities/Duties:
1. Support for improving the competitiveness of athletes through improving training & workshops, and improving the leadership skills of local coaches. 
These duties will take place in the morning of Monday to Saturday between 6:00am to 7:00am and in the evening between 4:00pm to 6:00pm
2. Travel outside the provinces for tournaments.
3. Operation support at various IRFU and GRFA events and conventions. 
4. Training camps’ support for the provincial and national team. 
Qualification Requirements: 3 years or more years of playing experience. Coaching experience is an asset.

Iwate Kamaishi Collaboration Rugby Program

A Rugby Exchange and Clinic was held in Galle in Sri Lanka as part of the "Impact Beyond 2019" and "Asian Scrum Project" for children from Sri Lankan and Indonesian through International Contribution Program; “Sport  for Tomorrow” with the collaboration of Kamaishi city; one of the 12 hosting cities (in Iwate prefecture). 
At the clinic, there were 100 children from three different schools and basic rugby skills were taught. Also, before and after the rugby clinic, seminars on disaster prevention were held and knowledge on evacuation from the tsunami was shared with a visit to the local city hall and disaster control centre. 
Besides, there was a visit to the beach to have a better understanding on current sports tourism. 

In Jakarta, Indonesia, basic-rugby-skill clinic was held for 90 players. 

In Puramuka Island, rugby exchange was held with 30 children and like Sri Lanka, before and after the rugby exchange, disaster prevention seminars were held.

In addition to the promotion of rugby, these new efforts at solving interregional issues such as "disaster prevention" and "sports tourism" by utilizing the rugby network were implemented in this trip. Seminars and site visits could not have happened without the support of rugby officials and the government officials as well as the JICA volunteer(Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers) that are dispatched in those countries. JRFU would like to continue developing the Asian Scrum Project while utilizing the power of rugby in various ways.

Date: February 6th to 11th, 2018
Place: Galle, Sri Lanka & Jakarta and Puramuka Island, Indonesia
In attendance, were coaches:
Masatoshi Mukoyama (Associate Professor at Ryutsukeizai University, ex-National Level player)

(Overview)
Sri Lanka
Date: February 6th and 7th, 2018 
Place: Galle, Sri Lanka
Schedule: 
February 6th: Rugby exchange and clinic, discussion with schoolteachers about disaster prevention
February 7th: Discussion about Sports tourism

Indonesia
Date: February 9th to 11th
Place: Jakarta and Puramuka Island
Schedule:
February 9th: Discussion about disaster prevention
February 10th: Rugby Exchange & Clinic (in Jakarta)
February 11th: Rugby Exchange & Clinic (in Puramuka Island) and discussion about Sports Tourism with National Park Staff

Rugby & Coaching Clinic in Thailand

A Rugby and Coaching clinic and tournament were held in Mukdahan Province in Thailand on Feb 2nd and 3rd as part of the "Impact Beyond 2019" and "Asian Scrum Project" for players and coaches from Thailand and Laos through International Contribution Program; “Sport for Tomorrow” 

There were 46 participants from Laos, about 100 participants from nearby areas and local Mukdahan province and learned about rugby and rugby coaching while deepening friendship.

During the clinic, Ms. Aoi Mimura who was one of the guest coaches gave a lecture about the spirit of “One for all, All for one” which she used “scrum” as an example of the spirit as everyone including your opponents have to bind together. 
Another guest coach, Ms. Saki Minami talked about the important of friendship that you make through rugby and rugby events as the spirit of “No Side”. 
 
With the support of the tourism bureau and police, local rugby and government officials were very much involved in this event.
The deputy governor of Mukdarhan Province, who came to greet the participants at the opening ceremony expressed his appreciation for not only Japan, but also for the related parties. The passion of the local and government officials and their willingness to spread rugby was the foundation and at the heart of this event
Japan Rugby Football Union will continue to work on spreading rugby across Asian countries. 
 
Date: February 2nd and 3rd, 2018
In attendance, were coaches:
Masatoshi Mukoyama (Assosiate Professor at Ryutsukeizai University, ex-National Level player)
Saki Minami (A student at Japan Sports Science University)
Aoi Mimura (Yokohama TKM Rugby Club, Yamanashi Gakuin University alumni)

(Overview)
Date: February 2nd and 3rd, 2018
Place: Mukdahan Province in Thailand
Schedule/Contents: 
February 2nd: Coaching Clinic, Rugby Clinic and Lectures on the Japanese Rugby Spirit
February 3rd: Rugby Clinic, Rugby Training and Touch Rugby tournament 

Coach dispatching to the Republic of Madagascar

With the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA, Chairman, Shinichi Kitaoka), and as part of the International Cooperation Project of our union, we will dispatch a rugby coach to the Republic of Madagascar as follows, said Japan Rugby Football Union (Chairman · Masao Okamura)

Expected activities:
1.Teach rugby skills and social discipline to youth at rugby centers and/or school. 
2.Suggest effective practice methods and create materials for rugby center/school coaches.
3.Participate in seminars for coaches organized by the union and propose effective physical and technical training methods.

At this time, a volunteer will dispatch as JICA Youth Overseas Cooperation Volunteers who is between 20 to 39 years of age and will be able to utilize his/her skills and experiences based on requests from developing countries.

JRFU and JICA signed a collaboration agreement in July 2013 as "JICA-JRFU Scrum Project". We will continue to dispatch rugby coaches as JICA volunteers to contribute to the development of healthy young people in developing countries and at the same time plan to develop human resources for stakeholders in our country.

Name: Yuki Nakano
Hometown: Osaka
Destination: Republic of Madagascar 
Assigned destination: Madagascar Rugby Union
Dispatch period: September 26, 2017 to September 25, 2019

Comment from Yuki Nakano:  I will try hard to spread rugby and try to spread the world through rugby.

Interview with Mr. Tadaaki Yamamoto(JOCV in Uzbeki

Activity Report 
I am mainly coaching in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, and may also visit other cities to coach. In Uzbekistan, there are club teams in various areas. In the first year, I traveled and coached different teams once a month and have participated in the practice of seven teams including the local city Bukhara. In each club, there are about 20 players, both male and female, between the ages of 10 and 20 years. The experience levels vary as some players just started to play and some have been playing for a few years, therefore, we can only practice basic skills such as passing. However, everyone's motivation gets very high when it comes to practicing game format, which I think is the same everywhere in the world. The practice frequency depends on the team and the season, for example, some teams practice three times a week and some teams practice six times a week.
Regarding the weather, because Uzbekistan has many deserts, it is very dry. The temperature rises to nearly 50 ° C in the summer and drops to -15 ° C in the winter. Summer is very hot, but the humidity is not high compared to Japan so it feels cool in the shade. For that reason, everyone goes to the shade during the practice break. Because it is very cold in winter, I often practice weight training and indoors. Although I played rugby several times outside, the core of my bone cooled down and I was trembling all the time, but the kids were running cheerfully.
Difficulty 
When I coached for a month in the local city Bukhara, rugby had only been introduced a month before I went. The coaches had never played rugby so I was wondering how they were practicing. When I observed their practice for the first time, the players did not pass the ball forward, they were blocking similar to American football (players who do not have a ball interfere with defense), and they did an alley-oop, similar to when playing basketball (catch a mountain pass in the air and dunk). I was surprised to hear when the coaches asked me "This is rugby, isn’t it!?” That’s where we started and from there, I taught them that rugby is a sport that cannot block other players and you must pass the ball to your teammate’s chest rather than using alley-oop pass. I used YouTube and some materials in Excel. After working together for a while, they stopped blocking, but the alley-oop pass had become a habit so there was still a need for improvement. It was only a month that we practiced together, but we spent time together doing things other than rugby such as going out to eat and watching soccer together. It was a very fun month. The local children contact me every once a while asking when I am coming back. I'd like to visit Bukhara again in the second year.
Previous coaching experience
I started playing rugby in junior high school, through high school, university and all the way up to the club level.  Before being dispatched, I had never coached rugby before.
In addition to learning about technical cooperation training coaching before being dispatched, I got the World Rugby coaching qualification at a seminar hosted by JRFU and prepared to be a coach.
Characteristics of Uzbekistan rugby
Uzbekistan is known for individual sports such as martial arts and many players have been transferred from other martial arts such as judo and boxing to rugby. For that reason, athletes are very competitive. For example, when you compete in running, you often see athletes saying, "I slipped" or " I could have run faster if I were wearing cleats". 
During my first year, the Uzbekistan National Rugby Tournament was held twice. Rugby teams gather in the capital city, Tashkent. Some teams came from the areas that I have not visited yet. There were seven men’s and five women’s teams who participated playing both 7’s and 15’s rugby in the tournament and the tournament was held over two-day period.  As a prize, trophies, medals and other awards were available so the players were more competitive than usual.
My goals for the second year
In the first year, I wanted to be part of Uzbekistan rugby so I worked very hard to earn their trust. As a result, I received some comments and questions such as "What is missing from my team and how do we improve from here? ", "When Yamamoto comes, everyone gets positive and everyone has fun playing rugby" and “When are you coming to visit our teams?".  And some players said to me "You are my brother". These comments have been the driving force of my stay here in Uzbekistan. 
I strongly believe that I am here today in Uzbekistan coaching rugby and having fun because of my junior high school coach who taught me about the enjoyment of rugby. Therefore, in my last year, I want to be a coach that allows players to like and enjoy rugby. At the same time, I will work to increase the number of coaches so more than one person can deliver my guidance.
(公財)日本ラグビーフットボール協会  
Copyright Japan Rugby Football Union. All rights reserved.