Wednesday, November 19, 2014

World Rugby: Brazilian Prize Underlines the need for Argentina 2023

Image: World Rugby
November 18 2015 will be a date marked in the history books for the sport of rugby. It marked the change of rugby's governing body in name from the International Rugby Board (IRB) to an entity with a name of greater significance. The extraordinary investment put into making the change is in search of a product which people can relate to more directly. The terminology of 'world' carries with it far greater scope than does 'international' and the need for this to be reached must now see rugby authorities looking beyond the traditional domains. A sign of this policy may well have taken place on Tuesday as Brazil's Curutiba Rugby Clube was chosen for a global award which it received in London as part of the unveiling of World Rugby complete with a new logo, as pictured to the right.

The project VOR - Vivendo O Rugby (Living Rugby) of the Curtiba Rugby Clube (CRC) was chosen by World Rugby to receive the Spirit of Rugby Award 2014. The club's program was singled out as a global leader due to it being a leader in pursuing rugby's values of social inclusion, promoting citizenship, a healthy lifestyle, putting rugby into practice and doing so by utilizing passion, discipline and integrity. 

The VOR program has involved over 1000 children aged between 7 and 16 of whom 40% have been females. In addition 18 athletes are receiving Olympic talent scholarships at the University of Paraná and three have gone on to represent Brazil in women's Rugby Sevens. The notable contribution was noted by the highest authority and it speaks of the growth that has firstly taken place and secondly the future potention that could be encouraged and embraced by making Argentina 2023 a reality. 

Rugby's growth in Brazil has been closely linked to collaboration with Argentina and inspiration with many Brazilian clubs having been established on the back of achievements of Los Pumas. Together with France and Italy Argentina stands out against the trend of powerful rugby countries being either British colonies or being a part of the U.K.

The U.K. will host Rugby World Cup 2015 with England hosting forty matches and Wales eight. The IRB had publicly stated it desired for England to host alone yet Wales is to host for a fourth time, thereby continuing the tradition of hosting matches every eight years. 2015 is to be the third time for England while 2023 would be the first time for Argentina. The Americas is the only region never to have been allocated a Rugby World Cup and Argentina is the only Semi Finalist ytet to host.

Despite not hosting rugby's greatest event the sport has spread significantly over the past decade throughout both North and South America with Argentina being a regional leader and model. Embracing this ought to be high priority with Brazil set to gain significantly from its south-western neighbor having the opportunity of hosting Rugby World Cup 2023.

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