Annual Olympic-style junior sports festival United World Games (UWG) has joined SOS Kit Aid and Shibuya International Rugby Club on the shortlist having been commended for helping to promote rugby in developing nations. These have included sponsoring the very first rugby refugee team (ROB) to enter their tournament in 2016, leading the way before the Olympics followed suit later that year
Next year, the 15th UWG will take place where junior athletes compete in sports varying from rugby and archery to floorball, orienteering and ultimate frisbee. Held in Klagenfurrt, Austria, it's expected to attract more than 10,000 participants from 40 different nations.
"Rugby is one of 15 sports hosted at the United World Games, but it is one that fits most perfectly into the sportsmanship, fair play, respect and multicultural camaraderie concept that surrounds the games," explains Renée Marie Carmine-Jones of UWG.
"UWG not only offers opportunities for teams and their representatives from various nations to build their networks, but also offers free clinics for players and coaches as well as professional assessments and feedback for match officials."
Fijian legend Waisale Serevi presents an award at the UWG
Reg Clark, CEO, Rhino said: "UWG thoroughly deserve the nomination for the Rhino Grass Roots Rugby Award, they don't just put on a wonderful tournament of rugby, but they go the extra mile in delivering coaching programmes for those involved: players, coaches and officials.
"They are committed to helping developing nations and even worked with local government in South Africa to make it possible for girls from a township to leave their country for the first time in order to compete in a rugby tournament."
To find out more about UWG, visit unitedworldgames.com
There will be four nominated finalists for the Rhino Grass Roots Rugby Award, with the final contender revealed in the next fortnight. The winner will be announced in December.
For more information on the award, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous winners of the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award
2015 TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016 KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017 SKRUM (Swaziland)