3. Afghanistan Rugby Federation ( ARF ) Afghanistan Rugby Federation ( ARF ) : by Asad Ziar Chief - Executive Officer Afghanistan Rugby Federation
It is the official Federation for the sport of Afghan Rugby and is involved in educating, supporting and enabling young Afghans to excel and compete
In recent times, rugby has been reintroduced by foreign forces once more, being played amongst British, Australian, French, Canadian and even American troops in their forward operating bases where common Afghan people can’t watch them playing rugby and we could not witness any Afghans playing rugby.
Afghanistan Rugby Federation ( ARF ) officially launched rugby in Afghanistan on May 20, 2011 with the aim and intention that Rugby will soon be developed into a sport game. ARF is registered with National Olympic Committee and approved by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Rugby Federation is in process of developing into a nation-wide organization which will certainly promote the game of rugby and the accompanying spirit of teamwork and fair competition in between all age-groups throughout Afghanistan emphasizing the young generation of Afghanistan. ARF is sure that rugby will only thrive if it becomes a game played by a large number of young generations.
ARF has a very result oriented plan in hand which is called “ Afghan School Rugby (ASR) by implementing this project ARF will be able to achieve a widespread popularity in Afghanistan by making it the number one playing sport game in the country. The ASR project really need sponsors and donors who are willing to help the young generation to avoid war and criminal activities and to be a healthy member of an Afghan family.
Since we understand by making the young generation busy in sport activities they won't have sufficient time for drug addiction and that they will be prevented from other criminal activities and that they won't be part of the fighting sides.
The Afghanistan Rugby Federation is affiliated with the National Olympic Committee, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It is the official Federation for the sport of Afghan Rugby and is involved in educating, supporting and enabling young Afghans to excel and compete internationally. In this way the Afghan Rugby Federation is helping to strengthen a sense of National pride and cohesion among talented young Afghans.
Afghanistan has indigenous sports which bear some resemblance to rugby football. One of these sport game is called Buzkashi, which has been compared to a cross between rugby and polo and uses a dead goat or sheep as the ball. The goal of a player is to grab the carcass of a headless goat or sheep and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across the goal line or into a target circle or vat. The game has even been referred to as "Sheep Rugby" by the Society for Creative Anachronism since the 1970s.
Rugby in Afghanistan is an intermittent and discontinuous one, often played by invading armies. The game was first introduced into the country from British India and was played by British troops. After the British left Asia, the game died very soon in Afghanistan. By way of return, the British took polo back with them from the region.
During the Soviet Afghan War, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, only few sport games were played by Red Army troops which did not include Rugby at all.
Following Cricket's Lead
Afghanistan has developed a reputation for its cricket after winning the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in 2009 and qualifying for the Twenty20 World Cup. Although cricket is still a relatively new sport in Afghanistan, it is increasing in popularity and now players hope the same will happen for rugby.
It is clear rugby is getting more popular not only in Afghanistan but in Asia which has seen a recent surge of interest from the Middle East and the Islamic world. Dubai has built a specialised academy for rugby players and now hosts tournaments, while unions have been set up in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Qatar.
Afghanistan’s international side may not have showed particularly well at the third and final leg of the HSBC Asian Rugby 7s in October, in Mumbai, but momentum is building, and the game is developing. This is being done by promoting club rugby and by showing the world Afghans have the best physiques for playing and are not simply a struggling nation.
The Afghan people have started to worry about what will happen when NATO departs but the Afghanistan Rugby Federation is optimistic that attitudes towards rugby will remain strong and that each province will continue to develop the sport.
It has been said that in the absence of war, society looks to sport to fulfill its combative nature. However, the relationship between war and sport goes far beyond the similarities of winning and losing. In fact, sport and war has throughout history proved to have a much more symbiotic relationship.
With very limited resources, the Afghanistan Rugby Federation does face problems but is as ever committed to taking this great game of sport and introducing it to every Afghan.
Afghanistan Rugby Contact - Asad Ziar : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dog River Howlers Rugby Club are sending 150 touch rugby velcro belts, 150 rugby balls along with mouth guards, speed pumps, whistles, saucer cones, kicking tee's, duffel bags, singlets for inter squad training and several sets of playing kit as part of their to Afghan rugby on early summer when transport issues are resolved. This is part of their "Howlers Support Upstart Afghanistan Rugby" campaign:www.facebook.com/HowlersSupportUpstartAfghanistanRugby?fref=ts